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10 minutes with Michael Jung

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Michael Jung and Sam

From the most memorable moment of his career so far to how he unwinds away from the yard, Michael Jung reveals the answers to your burning questions.

Michael Jung first exploded onto the eventing scene in 2009 by winning Luhmühlen CCI**** and going on to claim individual bronze at the European Championships. Since then, the victories have come thick and fast, year on year, many of which have been achieved with long-term equine partner La Biosthetique-Sam FBW. Michael has proved he can excel in any sphere because alongside all of this he successfully competes in Grand Prix showjumping – we’re exhausted just thinking about it!

Factfile

Name: Michael Jung

Date of birth: 31 July 1982

Hometown: Horb am Neckar, Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

Notable achievements: Michael became World Champion in 2010, cleaned up at the 2012 Olympics with double gold, and won gold and silver at Rio 2016, making history as a back-to-back gold medal-winning combination with La Biosthetique-Sam FBW. In the same year, he became the second rider ever to win the Grand Slam of eventing.

Michael Jung at Badminton

Photos: Kit Houghton /Mitsubishi Motors

Q&A

Which rider has influenced you the most?

My father, Joachim. He did dressage, jumping and eventing and, like him, I enjoy changing between the three disciplines – it was always my dream.

Which competition is the one you most look forward to?

I think that’s Kentucky CCI****. It’s a really nice place and it has very good conditions, so you can prepare your horse perfectly for each phase.

What do you consider to be the best moment of your career so far?

The biggest moment was winning at the 2010 World Equestrian Games – that was the first massive competition for me. But every Championship is a very special experience and I hope I never forget that.

You’ve been all over the world to compete, but what would you say has been your most memorable competition?

The Olympics, as the athletes’ village is amazing. You all sit together to eat and there’s a sporting champion, then another, then another – it’s a fantastic place.

How do you unwind after an intense season of training and competition?

I like to do lots of different things with my friends, like going skiing or to a water park. We have lots of barbecues, too, and I try to fit in some holidays. 

What are the ultimate goals you want to achieve?

Every day, my goal is to enjoy my work, but my favourite thing is to train a horse from a youngster, then have him do well at competitions later on – it makes me so happy and proud. 

If you didn’t ride, what career do you think you might have chosen?

Anything with a ball – tennis or football, or something like that.

What advice would you give to aspiring eventers?

It’s difficult, so you need a good, clear plan in your head that you can focus on. Know what you want and have the discipline to get there. Most importantly, you must never, ever give up. 

 

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