Michael Jung and Andreas Dibowski Aiming for Rolex Kentucky

Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST at Luhmühlen. Photo by Jenni Autry. Michael Jung and fischerRocana FST at Luhmühlen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Stop the presses, EN! We’ve confirmed through our friends at buschreiter.de that Michael Jung plans to start at Rolex this year with either La Biosthetique Sam FBW or fischerRocana FST, his 2014 World Equestrian Games individual silver and team gold medalist. And if Andreas Dibowski can securing fund, he plans to bring FRH Butts Avedon.

It’s been five years since any German rider started at Rolex, with Bettina Hoy and Ringwood Cockatoo finishing 2nd in 2009 and Peter Thomsen and The Ghost of Hamish finishing 24th, and since Kentucky became a CCI4* in 1998, we’ve very rarely seen any Germans at all at our big U.S. event.

It’s fantastic timing considering the idea of bolstering the level of competition on our home turf is a hot topic right now, with new USEF Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law making it a critical point of his keynote address at the 2014 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

And what better way to up the ante at U.S. eventing’s Super Bowl than to have Michael Jung start with either one of his top horses? Of course, Sam, a 15-year-old Baden-Württemberg gelding, is already a highly decorated legend of the sport, having been the first horse in the history of eventing to hold simultaneous Olympic, World and European Championship titles.

We predicted that Michael could still win individual gold at WEG aboard Rocana, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse mare, after Sam was suddenly withdrawn from WEG with a hoof issue. And they very nearly pulled that off, finishing in silver position by just .3 penalty points.

Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon at Malmö. Photo by Julia Rau.

Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon at Malmö. Photo by Julia Rau.

And Andreas Dibowski and FRH Butts Avedon, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, will also carry a lot of momentum into Kentucky after ending their 2014 season on a very high note, finishing in second place at Pau CCI4*. Avedon has also placed in the top 10 twice at Luhmühlen CCI4*, finishing third in 2012 and ninth in 2013.

So all that is to say that we’re in for a very exciting show in Kentucky if Michael and Andreas do in fact compete. German team chef d’equipe Hans Melzer told buschreiter.de that Michael and Andreas full intend to compete at Rolex barring “a long end of winter” in Germany, which had snow in April last year, we’re told.

Andreas is also facing funding issues, as DOKR has withdrawn all financial aid for traveling to Rolex, so he will need to find private sponsors in order to make the trip to Kentucky, saying he “has an open score to settle” after picking up two stops at the coffin during the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington.

Mother Nature, if you could do us a solid and keep the snow at bay so this can actually happen, that would be super. And if you haven’t already bought your tickets to Rolex to see Michael and Andreas in action, you should probably go do that right now at this link.

Hans also confirmed that the following German squad combinations are aiming for Badminton instead of Rolex, also due to DOKR eliminating funding for Kentucky: Ingrid Klimke and Hale Bob, Bettina Hoy and Designer, Claas Hermann Romeike and Cato, and Niklas Bschorrer with Tom Tom Go and Lord Shostakovich.

If you’re fluent in German, you can read buschreiter.de’s full interview with Hans here. Get excited, EN! Rolex is just 78 days away!

Thank you to EN reader Maren Engelhardt of Trakehners International for helping with the translation!