Olympic Eventing Preview: Jung Could be Hard to Beat

Reigning Olympic champion Michael Jung (GER) and the rest of the field will kick off the competition on Aug. 6.
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Some say that if you sent him cross-country wearing a blindfold and facing backwards on his horse that Germany’s Michael Jung could still bring home Olympic gold. This is the man that the Olympic eventing field will have to beat when the eventing competition gets underway at the Olympic equestrian venue at Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 6.

Jung arrived at the London Games four years ago hoping to become the first-ever rider to hold the World, European, and Olympic titles at the same time, and celebrated his 30th birthday by winning not one, but two gold medals. He has since added team gold at the Alltech Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, in 2014; double-gold at last summer’s FEI European Championships in Scotland; and the CCI4* titles at Burghley last September and both Kentucky and Badminton this May. And, just a few short weeks ago he finished first and sixth individually in the latest leg of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing 2016 series in Aachen, Germany.

Jung won’t compete in Brazil with his intended ride, Takinou who picked up an infection recently. Instead, he will switch to his 2012 Olympic ride, 16-year-old Sam—the horse that cruised into the winner’s enclosure at both Burghley and Badminton.

Strong Teams Lining Up

As defending Olympic champions, Team Germany look strong, with Jung, Ingrid Klimke, Sandra Auffarth, and Andreas Ostholt. However, they didn’t have things all their own way in Aachen where many Olympic contenders were giving their horses a run and the resurgent Australians sprang a major surprise by overwhelming their hosts

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