Jung repeats victory from last year
LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 3, 2016) — More than 82,000 people attended the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event this past weekend at Keeneland in Lexington. Sunday’s attendance was 25,545, bringing the weekend’s total paid attendance to 82,100.
Michael Jung of Germany became the second rider to win the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover, on the same horse in two consecutive years by riding Fischerrocana FST to a 13.3-point victory. His winning score (39.2) easily bested Lauren Kieffer on Veronica (52.5) and Maya Black on Doesn’t Play Fair (53.9).
Kim Severson on Winsome Adante is the only previous partnership to record consecutive Rolex Kentucky victories since it became a CCI4* in 1998. They won in 2004 and 2005, after also winning in 2002.
Prior to that, when Rolex Kentucky was a CCI3*, Bruce Davidson Sr. won in 1988 and 1989 on Doctor Peaches. Davidson also won Rolex Kentucky in 1983 on J.J. Babu and 1984 on Doctor Peaches, and he won the 1978 World Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park on Might Tango.
“I am normally not a man of many words or so much drama as this weekend has been,” said Jung 33. “I have to thank all the people behind me and my horses. It’s a success of the whole team. Every horse in my stable has had a part in it.”
In addition to Fischerrocana FST, an 11-year-old German-bred mare, Jung’s stable includes numerous international-level event horses, as well international-level show jumping and dressage horses.
Now Jung’s attention turns to the third leg of the Rolex Grand Slam, the Badminton Three-Day Event in England, which begins on Wednesday. His mount there, La Biosthetique Sam, on whom he won the 2010 World Championships and 2012 Olympics, was due to arrive at Badminton on Sunday. Jung flew out early Monday morning to meet him there Monday afternoon.
If Jung wins Badminton, he will become only the second rider to win the lucrative Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing in the 16-year history of the prize – the winner earns $350,000 for winning three of the biggest four-star events in the world consecutively including Rolex Kentucky, Badminton (UK) and Burghley Three-Day Events (UK). Pippa Funnell of Great Britain is the single previous winner of the Rolex Grand Slam, in 2002-2003.
Kieffer climbed from sixth place to second place by adding just one show jumping time fault to her two-day score. That propelled her up the standings when the four horses in front of her faulted, including Phillip Dutton’s third-placed horse, Mighty Nice, and his second-placed horse, Fernhill Fugitive. Dutton finished fourth on Mighty Nice, fifth on Fernhill Cubalawn, and 13th on Fernhill Fugitive.
For Kieffer, 28, of Middleburg, Va., second place made her the winner of the Rolex USEF Four-Star Championship for the second time, again on Veronica. Kieffer also finished 18th on Landmark’s Monte Carlo, with 20 show jumping faults.
“Monte Carlo exceeded our expectations yesterday and had a learning experience today,” performing in front of the jam-packed Rolex Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, said Kieffer. “But Veronica is better the more atmosphere she has. It lights her up a bit, and she tries harder.”
Black, 28, of Clinton, Wash., and Doesn’t Play Fair, an 11-year-old U.S.-bred Holsteiner, lowered one jump to move up one place from their two-phase standing. “He’s kind of a pain in the barn, but he’s a great little horse who comes to work everyday,” said Black of her 15.2-hand partner.
Kieffer and Dutton, on Mighty Nice, led Team USA to victory in the $20,000 Dubarry Team Challenge, scoring 178.5 faults, along with Boyd Martin on Shamwari 4. Their score handily eclipsed New Zealand (238.0) and the combined team of Australia, Germany and Great Britain (298.5).