6 September - A huge crowd rose to their feet in appreciation as Michael Jung (GER) and his wonderful horse La Biosthetique Sam jumped the perfect clear round to win the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (GBR), sixth and final leg of the FEI Classics™ 2014/2015.

Jung, who will be defending his European title next weekend, is the first German rider to win a British CCI4*, and he received a great reception from the crowd, who recognised a phenomenal horseman in action and had been surrounding him all weekend asking for ‘selfies’ and autographs.

“To come to Burghley is amazing, to ride the Cross Country was wonderful and to win here at an event which is such a great tradition in the sport is just fantastic. This will be one of the highlights of my life,” said Jung. “I really enjoyed it here and hope I will have horses for it next year.”

This is the 21st international event he has won with the 16-year-old Sam, which he describes as “being like a good friend - every time he gives me 100%.”

Jung also finished second in the FEI Classics™ 2014/2015 behind his compatriot Ingrid Klimke, who was at Burghley to receive her cheque for $US 40,000 in the main arena.

Jung was under huge pressure coming into the arena as Tim Price (NZL) had conjured a beautiful clear round from the improving Ringwood Sky Boy to finish runner-up behind the German for the second time this year, following Kentucky (USA) in April.

“Sky Boy has been improving and I hoped that would show itself on the flat,” explained Tim. “He has always been a good Cross Country horse but to be still here today, in second place, is wonderful. He is not a natural showjumper but he is learning to try hard at the right moment.”

The talented Christopher Burton (AUS), who has never previously completed Burghley, had a perfect day with two clear rounds to finish third and fourth on TS Jamaimo and Haruzac.

“I haven’t had a very good run here before - I came here as a young rider from Australia in 2004 and fell off at the third fence, so just to see the finish flags was a pretty good feeling,” he said.

Jonelle Price (NZL) slipped from third to fifth when Classic Moet hit the first part of the treble, but clear rounds elevated Sir Mark Todd to sixth on Leonidas ll, Cedric Lyard (FRA) to seventh on Cadeau du Roi, Kristina Cook (Star Witness) to eighth and best British rider, and Sam Griffiths (AUS) and Paulank Brockagh to ninth.

William Fox-Pitt (GBR) had a fence down on Fernhill Pimms but still rose three places to 10th. However, for the first time since the inception of the FEI Classics™ in 2008 he missed out on a cash prize. The Badminton winner finished on the same score, 24 points, as Tim Price, but the New Zealander took precedent in fourth place on the final leaderboard as, according to the rules, he had gained his points at fewer competitions.

How the FEI Classics™ was won

Ingrid Klimke (GER) is the first German rider to win the FEI Classics™ since the series began in 2008. She won Pau in 2014 (Horseware Hale Bob) and Luhmühlen (GER) this year on FRH Escada JS, and finished second (on Horseware Hale Bob) at Badminton.

Michael Jung (GER), second, won Kentucky on FischerRocana FST, and was third at Luhmühlen and first at Burghley on La Biosthetique Sam. Jonelle Price was fourth at Pau and second at Luhmühlen (Faerie Dianimo) and fifth at Burghley (Classic Moet). Her husband Tim was second at Kentucky (Wesko) and second at Burghley (Ringwood Sky Boy).

“I didn’t plan this or expect to win it,” said a delighted Klimke after receiving her cheque. “Now it seems that Germans are able to win CCI4*s! Chris Bartle [our trainer] makes us go all over the world and that gives us confidence. It’s great to win extra money like this, which will go straight back into my horses and therefore into the sport.”

About the FEI Classics™ winner

Ingrid Klimke (GER), 47, is enjoying her most successful season in a long and distinguished international career. The daughter of the late Dr Reiner Klimke, one of the most medalled Dressage riders in history, Klimke’s “day job” is producing Dressage horses but she has been a key member of the German Eventing squad since 1999.

With her first top horse, Sleep Late, she represented Germany at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, won European team and individual bronze medals in 2005 and world team gold in 2006, and set a German record when second at Badminton in 2006.

With FRH Butts Abraxxas, she won Olympic team gold in 2008 and 2012, plus European team gold in 2011, and was fourth at Burghley in 2013. Riding FRH Escada JS, she won European team gold and individual silver medals in 2013 and world team gold in 2014.

Klimke, who is based in Münster, Germany, is married to Andreas and has two daughters, Greta and Philippa. She is in great demand as a trainer and has written books on riding.

About the Burghley winner

Michael Jung (GER), 33, was the first rider in history to hold Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously and the first to win four championship titles consecutively.

He first came to prominence in 2009, when he won the Luhmühlen CCI4*, the FEI World Cup™ Eventing final in Strzegom (POL) and an individual European bronze medal in Fontainebleau (FRA), all on La Biosthetique Sam.

The pair went on to win the world title in Kentucky (USA) in 2010, double European gold in Luhmühlen in 2011 and double Olympic gold in London (GBR) in 2012 and, in 2013, they were second at Badminton CCI4*.

Jung won a second European title, at Malmö (SWE) in 2013 on Halunke, and last year finished second at Luhmühlen and won world team gold and individual silver medals on FisherRocana FST. He lives at Horb, Germany, where his parents, Joachim and Bridgette, own a riding establishment.

Final Results

1 Michael Jung/La Biosthetique Sam (GER) 39.2 + 0.8 + 0 = 40.0

2 Tim Price/Ringwood Sky Boy (NZL) 38.7 + 2.8 + 0 = 41.5

3 Christopher Burton/TS Jamaimo (AUS) 45.0 + 0 + 0 = 45.0

4 Christopher Burton/Haruzac (AUS) 41.2 + 6.4 + 0 = 47.6

5 Jonelle Price/Classic Moet (NZL) 44.9 + 0 + 4 = 48.9

6 Sir Mark Todd/Leonidas ll (NZL) 41.7 + 8.8 + 0 = 50.5

7 Cedric Lyard/Cadeau du Roi (FRA) 39.6 + 11.2 + 0 = 50.8

8 Kristina Cook/Star Witness (GBR) 47.4 + 5.2 + 0 = 52.6

9 Sam Griffiths/Paulank Brockagh (AUS) 42.5 + 15.2 + 0 = 57.7

10 William Fox-Pitt/Fernhill Pimms (GBR) 34.2 + 20.4 + 4 = 58.6

source: Fei.org