Seven podium finishes.

That’s the sum total of United Touch S’s international record. At first glance, it’s an underwhelming stat for a 12-year-old horse that’s jumped 102 international rounds.

Until you consider the podiums. And the time frame he achieved them.

Under Richard Vogel’s saddle since 2022, the stallion made his 1.60m debut in November that year with the FEI Jumping World Cup at Stuttgart—and won.

Five months later, he and the 27-year-old German contested their first championship at the World Cup Final in Omaha and won the second round of that too.

Before the year was out, they went on to collect two more 1.60m Grand Prix titles, including the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva, one of four Majors in the Rolex Grand Slam and widely considered one of the most difficult Grands Prix in the world.

And that was their first full year at the height.

Their momentum shows no signs of slowing down heading into 2024 either.

On Saturday night at Wellington International in Florida, Vogel and his spectacular stallion added the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix to their record. It’s their fifth 1.60m victory in just 15 months.

Last to return for the four-horse jump off, the pair faced off against world no. 9 McLain Ward (USA) on Callas, world no. 12 Shane Sweetnam (IRL) on the phenom James Kann Cruz, and Irish Olympian Darragh Kenny on VDL Chaccolino.

His strategy was simple.

“I was very lucky that I went behind those three guys. I knew I had to risk it all. If I had a rail, I was fourth and if I wasn’t slow, Darragh was fourth. So there was not so much to lose. I knew if I want to win, I had to give everything and really do the highest risk and the least amount of stride I can do. So, yeah, the tactics were very simple,” said Vogel.

That’s precisely what he did. The pair crossed the timers in 42.04 seconds, three tenths of a second ahead of Ward and Callas (42.39). Sweetnam took third in 43.53.

In 24 rounds at 1.60m, United Touch jumps clear at a 33% tick and into the top 10 59% of the time with Vogel, according to Jumpr App.

Related reading: The Story Behind United Touch S

If you’re wondering how the Untouched-sired bay fares at lower heights he’s only jumped two rounds at 1.55m under Vogel. They were clear in both and victorious in one.

It comes as no surprise that the German rider is chuffed to matched with the German-bred stallion.

“It’s just a very, very special feeling. I was lucky enough to ride a lot of good horses in my life, but even out of the good horses [United Touch] is still outstanding. As you can only imagine, when he leaves the ground that much power and that much scope is something very unique, and I’m very happy to be in a saddle.”

Vogel and United Touch have landed on seven podiums, to date. Six at the top. Five at the 1.60m height. All at the five star level.