Interview with Michael Jung – Clarifies his Rolex plans and more

Michael Jung at a recent Breeders Association of Baden-Wuerttemberg event where he was helping to scout out talented five and six year old Baden-Wurttemberg horses - Photo courtesy of Kerstin Hoffmann

With Rolex, Kentucky just two months away, training is in high gear for all the pairs planning to tackle North America’s only four-star and the most attended Eventing venue on this side of the pond.

Since news broke that Michael Jung was planning to attend, fans have been excited and speculating. Which horse will he bring and does he have the Rolex Grand Slam in his sights?

A big thank-you to our good friend Eckhart Siewert, who graciously arranged an interview with Michael so we could ask him about his plans.

What horse will you be taking to Rolex?
I am taking Sam and Rocana to Kentucky, that’s the plan. We are in the middle of the training right now with both horses. At the moment, it is a bit difficult because it is still winter. Until now, we could gallop on the snow but now it is frozen and hard so we have to stop. We have also been in Warendorf and had a chance to do some gallop training and cross-country training there. So the horses at the moment are absolutely on plan for Kentucky. Only if the snow stays another month or two then we are in danger to not go. But it looks like if it is only one or two weeks, we can go on training here and we are right on plan.

Does the possibility of a Rolex Grand Slam have anything to do with your decision to ride in Kentucky?
I am not chasing for the grand slam especially because I am taking two horses to Kentucky now, Badminton is not on my schedule.

As we follow your competition schedule, we can’t help but notice that you are competing quite a few horses in Show Jumping. Are you contemplating a shift in disciplines?
I want to do more in the show jumping that’s right, but not give up on Eventing. The focus is still on Eventing and especially on Rio. The number of horses I have for show jumping and for eventing is quite equal, including the youngsters. I always have between 20 and 25 horses to ride.

Are your sponsors, encouraging you to move more to Show Jumping?
The sponsors are supporting me but they are not chasing me in one direction or another; to show jumping or eventing. I can do as I like. We are always searching for young horses, show jumpers as much as eventers, and as soon as we have found one that we think could be suitable, we try to make agreements with a sponsor or between the owner and us.

Do you have other horses as good as Sam coming up in your barn?
It is very difficult to compare and make predictions about the young horses. But there are some youngsters that we are sure that  will make their way into the top of the sport. Every one of them is a bit different so it is hard to say that it will be the Sam of the future. There is no doubt that horses like Fischertakinou, Fischerincantas, and Star Connection have the talent to make it to the top, but I do not want to compare them to Sam. Takinou is eight and Incantas and Star Connection are six. So we have different ages and we will see what happens.

Plan your Rolex trip now!
So there you have it. Michael will be bringing his 2010 WEG individual gold medal horse and 2012 Olymplic individual gold medal horse, La Biosthetique Sam FBW and his 2014 WEG individual silver medal horse, Fischerrocana FST.

For many North American fans this will be an absolute treat to get to watch both horses. I am thinking that the riders will not be as thrilled as their chances of winning just became a little more difficult.

Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event website


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