Germany’s Michael Jung has swept into a commanding early lead at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with the first of his two rides, Fischerrocana FST.
The reigning Olympic and European Champion conjured a supremely harmonious and accurate test from the 11-year-old mare to post a score of 34.2, just over three penalties ahead of the next highest placed rider at the end of Thursday morning’s dressage session, Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Rutherglen (37.8).
Fischerrocana FST, who won Lexington CCI4* earlier this year, is not a flamboyant mover, but the three judges, Andrew Bennie (NZL), Nick Burton (GBR) and Christina Klingspor (SWE) rewarded her rhythm and consistency with nines galore.
“I am very happy with her. She was very relaxed and easy to ride and gave me a very good feeling. I had hoped that the judges would agree,” said Michael, for whom this is a first visit to Burghley.
“I am very pleased to be here. Burghley has a great tradition and I am lucky this year that I have three horses to choose from at this level, so I can take one to the European Championships and bring two here. I have walked round the course and I think it is difficult and tough with the ups and downs, but the beginning is kind and will get the horses going.”
First-timer Rosalind Canter is currently best of the British in third place with Caroline Moore’s Allstar B on a score of 40.2.