It’s hard to imagine three-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Jung topping three consecutive titles at the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event CCI5*-L in Lexington. It’s a feat only he and fischerRocana have laid claim to at USA’s “Best Weekend All Year” (2016–2018).

On Sunday, the German Meister of Eventing found a way.

Jung didn’t just win a phenomenal fourth title (Bruce Davidson is the only rider to have won K3DE more, with five wins) before a packed stadium of screaming fans. He did it in a snaffle. While setting a new world record. On a horse making its 5* debut.

Masterful doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Let’s review the week that was. On Friday, Jung and fischerChipmunk FRH put in a near-perfect test to take the top spot on a personal best score of 20.1.

“With fischerChipmunk I have real superstar, and I just enjoy riding (him),” said Jung of the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “He was really powerful but also really relaxed and in a very good balance. I’m very happy to have him, very thankful to the fischer crew for this amazing horse and very happy to be here with him for his first (CCI5*-L).”

©Michelle Dunn Photo

On Saturday, they extended that lead as one of only three double-clear cross country runs over Derek di Grazia’s challenging course to keep their score of 20.1.

“I’m just very proud of my horse,” said Jung. “I’m absolutely happy—he is a great horse, he has a lot of talent, super quality … in cross county he was so powerful, fast running on the flat, great jumping and his brain was always with me. It was a great feeling just to enjoy the 11 minutes.”

Michael Jung enjoying a relaxing ride around Kentucky Horse Park. ©Allison Pezzack Photo

With two rails and three time faults in hand, Jung had 11 points to spare heading into the final phase on Sunday, show jumping. Did he opt for a cautious clear? Nein.

The pair jumped a foot perfect round within the time allowed to finish on their dressage score, 20.1, and put an exclamation mark on their record setting victory. It’s the lowest CCI5* finishing score ever recorded and first one in the 20s. Laura Collett and London 52 set the previous record—21.3—at Pau in 2020.

“You always, always try to give your best. And that’s why you wake up every morning, go to the stable in -20 degrees or in the rain, in the heat. So it’s a very special moment for me and a very, very big thank you to my whole team,” said Jung.

“I had a really great feeling in the warm up and it makes you a bit more relaxed. But still, the pressure is on. And that was also a test for the World Equestrian Games. So I tried to stay really concentrated and focused. This horse, fischerChipmunk is amazing.

“He was jumping today like a really, really good show jumping horse—very careful, very scopey, very strong and sound and powerful. This is a great, great feeling for the rider.”

Kentucky marks Jung’s 11th career 5* win. The only people feeling the journey more than the Meister Jung? Twitter.

Five star debutante Yasmin Ingham (25) of Great Britain took second with Banzi du Loir on a score of 31.7. USA’s Doug Payne finished third with Quantum Leap on a score of 38.4

Feature image: ©Michelle Dunn Photo