Michael Jung & fischerRocana

Michael Jung leads Rolex Kentucky after Day 1 Dressage

Michael Jung made the best possible start to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day event in his bid to repeat his success of 2010 by taking the lead after Day 1 of the Dressage phase riding Fischerrocana FST.  USA’s Laine Ashker and Phillip Dutton lie in second and third place overnight having delighted the 7,000+ fans watching from the magnificent Rolex Stadium.

On a score of 39.5 Jung, who won individual gold at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and who is the current Olympic title holder, still has arguably his strongest ride to come tomorrow with his other horse La Biosthestique – SAM FBW. On 31 July 2012, his 30th birthday, Jung made eventing history becoming the first rider to ever hold the Olympic, World and European championship titles at the same time.

Boasting a record 88 entries from the world’s top eventing riders, the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event continues to go from strength to strength.  For the first time in her Eventing career, Rolex Eventing Testimonee and 2006 World Champion Zara Phillips will be competing at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event tomorrow on her horse, High Kingdom, who she won silver medals with at the 2012 Olympic Games and 2014 World Equestrian Games. Other contenders still to go include Great  Britain’s William Fox-Pitt who has won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event trophy three times – in 2010, 2012 and 2014 – and he returns with Bay My Hero to defend his title.

TOP 5 PLACINGS AFTER DAY 1 DRESSAGE

1st   Michael Jung (GER), Fischerrocanna FST, 39.3
2nd  Laine Ashker (USA), Anthony Patch, 44.2
3rd   Phillip Dutton (USA), Fugitive, 47.3
4th   Francis Whittington (GBR), Easy Target, 47.6
5th   Jolie Wentworth (USA), Goodknight, 50.6

Michael Jung: “It is a very nice stadium, a quiet stadium and very good that we can work in the stadium before the dressage – it helps a lot for the horses. Today my horse gave me a really good feeling – she was calm and quiet – I could do everything that I wanted. She was fantastic to ride and one of the best tests she has done. Today she is the leader but tomorrow Sam is in very good form, but you never know.”

Laine Ashker: “I feel amazing. It feels like a dream come true – this is my eighth Rolex, but my first time in the press conference! I am extremely elated with Al’s performance and it seemed to all come together today so I couldn’t ask for anything better. He was a total workman, so rideable today I felt like I could have just kept going – we were dancing – I had a lot of fun.”

Phillip Dutton: “I was pleased’ish – Fernnhill Fugitive is the greenest of all my rides, he is a very laid back character so I didn’t ride him this morning which goes against all my instincts. We go down to the arena and he was a little on the fresh side but then he worked in well and he did about the best test he has ever done. There are still a lot of good horses to come tomorrow, so it is shaping up to be an exciting competition.”

Photo: ROLEX