On Saturday afternoon, all eyes were on Michael Jung. Over 35,700 spectators filled the Kentucky Horse Park who all came to watch the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Mars Equestrian CCI5*-L. Michael Jung (GER) on FischerChipmunk FRH, Boyd Martin (USA) on Tsetserleg TSF, and Yasmin Ingham (GBR) and Banzai du Loir came out on top and hold the top three spots going into tomorrow, the final day of the 2022 Kentucky Three-Day.
Jung, the three-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time winner of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, delivered a masterclass in horsemanship, excellent cross-county riding, and the importance of a strong partnership. He piloted FischerChipmunk FRH (Contendro I x Havanna), a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Klaus and Sabine Fischer, Hilmer Meyer-Kulenkampff, and DOKR around his first five-star cross-country track, and finished with a double clear. “I’m very proud of my horse. FischerChipmunk is a great horse, he’s so powerful. I enjoyed all 11 minutes,” said Jung.
“I’ll give him everything he needs – like carrots, massage - everything to keep him happy and feel like a superstar,” said Jung on how he plans to pamper FischerChipmunk FRH before tomorrow’s show jumping. Jung made it even harder for anyone to catch him and FischerChipmunk FRH as there is a nine-point difference between him and the second place rider. They have two rails in hand and sit on a score of 20.1 going into the final day.
“[He] was brilliant. It was smooth sailing for 'Thomas' today. I couldn’t have been happier with him. I feel like we are in a place in our career now where he really knows his job. It was a good course, and I was very, very pleased with how it went today,” said Martin, who was one of three double clear cross-country rounds in the CCI5*-L. Martin and Tsetserleg TSF (Windfall II x Thabana) moved up from sixth to second and go into tomorrow’s show jumping on a score of 29.4
A graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) program, Tsetserleg TSF is a 15-year-old American bred Trakehner gelding owned by Christine, TJ, and Tommie Turner and bred by Timothy Holekamp. “It’s the first Trakehner that I’ve had. They are a wonderful breed – the American Trakehner,” said Martin. “I remember when I first came to America in 2006 and I saw Darren Chiacchia riding around on Windfall. I was just in awe of how the horse performed.”
“I’m expecting him to come prancing out the stall tomorrow,” said Martin on how he expects Thomas to come out tomorrow morning before the final horse inspection.
Young British rider Ingham and Janette Chinn and Sue Davies' 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding Banzai du Loir (Nouma D’Auzay x Gerboise Du Cochet) only added 2.8 time penalties to their dressage score to move up from fourth to third place after cross-country. They sit on a score of 30.9 going into tomorrow. Like Jung, Ingham was riding a horse that had never done a five-star cross-country before today.
“It’s a dream come true to be here," Ingham commented. "I think my horse just grew in confidence the whole way round. I think he could have gone a bit longer after the 11 minutes."
“The course was incredible; the whole park has been a pleasure. I’m feeling very lucky to be here,” said Ingham, who is originally from the Isle of Man, a small 13-mile long island in the Irish Sea, and who made the trip to Kentucky for the first time. At only 24 years old, Ingham is the youngest rider in the CCI5*-L field.
The CCI5*-L will resume on Sunday morning with the final horse inspection starting at 7:30 a.m.
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The countdown is on for the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds! This year, the USEA AEC moves to the beautiful Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana. The AEC will move back to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2023, so if you have ever dreamed of riding in the Flathead Valley of Montana with views of Glacier National Park, you won’t want to miss this year’s very special opportunity.
USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown is joined by USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran to look back on the highlights of the season so far. From the big five-stars to the road to Pratoni and what to look forward to this year.
When Auburn University’s Alayna Backel jumped the final jump on her cross-country course today you couldn’t even hear the announcer over the mob of Auburn students, fans, and family members standing at the finish flags. As the last member of the Auburn War Eagles team to compete at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships, Backel’s double-clear cross-country round with Amy Dobbins’ 17-year-old Halflinger gelding Oliver Twist (Aurora x Ludora de Las Perlas) solidified Auburn’s first victory at the Intercollegiate Championships in three years on a cumulative team score of 79.23.
It has been three years since Auburn University has clinched the title of USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Champions, but the team aimed to rectify that at the 2022 Championships by sending six teams to compete, one of which, the Auburn War Eagles, sits in the pole position following the first day of competition.