Friday’s Five – Who will top the leaderboard at the 2015 Luhmuhlen CCI4*

You may never be as talented as Michael Jung, but you can be as fit as him!

The best way to predict the future is by looking at the past. We analyzed the FEI records of everyone entered at the Luhmuhlen CCI4* to predict who the top five duos will be next Sunday. Here are our picks:

5. Dirk Schrade (GER) & Hop and Skip

  • Lifetime best CCI4* score: 49.2 – 6th at Luhmuhlen 2011
  • Most recent CCI4* outing: 135.3 – 45th WEG 2014
  • Last FEI outing: 45.3 – 5th at Houghton Hall CIC3* 2015

Dirk and his 16-year-old, British Sport Horse, gelding, Hop and Skip, have a wealth of experience, with a total of 35 FEI starts together and five CCI4* event completions. Since January 2014, they have competed at 13 FEI events. At these events, their dressage scores have varied between a 41.9 to a 50.5, they have only dropped two rails, and other than at the WEG last summer they’ve had no cross-country jumping penalties. I expect them to deliver a solid performance to earn themselves another top placing at a CCI4*. However, their dressage is beatable so it is unlikely they will end up any higher than 5th place at the end of the weekend.

4. Mark Todd (NZL) & NZB Campino

  • Lifetime best CCI4* score: 46.5 – 12th at London Olympics 2012
  • Most recent CCI4* outing: Eliminated – Badminton 2014
  • Last FEI outing: 36.9 – 1st at Tattersalls 2015 CIC3*

This combination lacks no miles together. Mark Todd has brought NZB Campino, a 13-year-old, Hanoverian, gelding, up through the grades and so far this horse has had a total of 20 FEI starts, all with Mark Todd in the irons. They were going through a rough patch last season, getting eliminated on the brutal Badminton course last spring and then Mark fell off at the Bramham CCI3* in the fall. However, those problems are clearly behind them as they showed terrific form at Tattersalls to win the CIC3* on an impressive 36.9. This horse rarely pulls rails, has scored as low as a 32.3 in dressage at the three-star level, and at the 2012 Olympics, finished in 12th. This pair is capable of winning the whole event but they are going to face some stiff competition.

3. Andreas Dibowski (GER) & FRH Butts Avedon

  • Lifetime best CCI4* score: 43.2 – 3rd at Luhmuhlen 2012
  • Most recent CCI4* outing: 54.3 – 2nd at Pau 2014
  • Last FEI outing: 40.4 – 3rd at Wiesebaden 2015 CIC3*

Andreas started FRH Butts Avedon, a 12-year-old, Hanoverian, gelding at the CIC1* level in 2009 and since then they have had a total of 46 FEI starts together and three CCI4* completions. They have proven that they are able to consistently deliver at CCI4* events; placing 2nd at Pau 2012, 9th at Luhmuhlen 2013 and 3rd at Luhmuhlen 2012. At 12-years-old, this horse is just reaching his prime. Their last outing was the Wiesebaden CIC3* where they scored a 40.4 in dressage and only added 2.4 time penalties on cross-country to place 3rd. They are on their home turf and it will be an easy top five finish for them.

2. Michael Jung (GER) & Fischerrocana FST

  • Lifetime best CCI4* score: 39.3 – 1st at Rolex 2015
  • Most recent CCI4* outing: 39.3 – 1st at Rolex 2015
  • Last FEI outing: 39.3 – 1st at Rolex 2015

Michael and Fischerrocana FST, the 10-year-old, SATHU, mare, are fresh off their Rolex CCI4* victory. This incredible mare was also the silver medalist at the 2014 WEG, and 2nd at Luhmuhlen 2014. She has been brought up the levels by Michael starting at the CCI1* level in 2011, and since then she has had 28 FEI event starts and won six of them, 21% of them. It seems like she is the favourite to win but Michael’s beloved Sam beat her in dressage at Rolex and he was faster on cross-country, Michael take full responsibility for Sam’s rails. If Rocana steps up and beats Sam at another CCI4*, she may become Michael’s new favourite.

1. Michael Jung (GER) & La Biosthetique – Sam FBW

  • Lifetime best CCI4* score: 33 – 1st at WEG 2010
  • Most recent CCI4* outing: 44.7 – 3rd at Rolex 2015
  • Last FEI outing: 44.7 – 3rd at Rolex 2015

It is hard not to pick Michael and La Biosthetique – Sam FBW, a 15-year-old, BAD-WU, gelding, as the winning pair. Sam was started by Michael at the CIC1* level, and together they have had 48 FEI event starts. They have won 20 of those events, which is a whopping 42% win average. Wow! Rocana might have a silver WEG medal but Sam won gold at the WEG in 2010 and then won another gold medal at the Olympics in 2012. Michael says that Sam is his favourite horse, and he blamed himself for dropping two rails at Rolex in April. It is likely Michael will be on form this time in the show jumping arena with Sam to ensure that he does not let his favourite horse down by giving the win to his barn rival Rocana.

Michael explaining why Sam is his favourite horse.

 

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