How many riders are fortunate enough to have a second string horse capable of winning medals at the biggest equestrian event in the world?
Not many, and 2010 World Eventing Champion Michael Jung says there’s no way his individual silver medal winning mare fischerRocana FST will ever be for sale.
The nine-year-old mare stepped up a class at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, carrying Jung to team gold and individual silver, after the withdrawal of his reigning Olympic and World champion La Biosthetique Sam.
Joachim Jung, Michael’s father and coach, said: “This is such a limited little mare and she has delivered more than her maximum here. Her World Championship silver in Caen can be compared to the title La Biosthetique Sam won at Lexington in 2010.”
It was the first time since 2011 that the German national anthem was not played for Jung from the top spot of the individual podium, but nonetheless he was smiling from ear to ear as he collected his team gold and individual silver medals: “She will never be for sale now,” he said.
“It was a shame I had to leave Sam at home but I’m lucky enough to have a reserve horse like Fischerrocana,” the current Olympic and European Champion added.
fischerRocana is a rather unremarkable and small bay mare by the Thoroughbred sire Ituango. She has never looked particularly special but she has the biggest of hearts.
Jung took her on as a five-year old, at first not thinking very much of her, although he admitted that she was always “clever, calm and easy to ride. She concentrated well and was a good jumper. She makes up for her looks by her attitude, fighting her heart out in competition”.
In 2011 when Jung’s career was on the rise and he won his first European Championship title with La Biosthetique Sam, the mousy fischerRocana FST was starting her rise to the top as well. She trounced a field of young eventers at Le Lion d’Angers as a six-year old and if there were ever thoughts of not keeping her for good then they are firmly forgotten now.