The leaderboard at Longines PfingstTurnier Wiesbaden saw a shake-up before cross country even started, as Julia Krajewski withdrew overnight leader Samourai du Thot.
Michael Jung and Star Connection then became the pair to beat with a comfortable 11-second margin already in hand over second-placed Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan.
Star Connection hadn’t competed in a CCI4*-S since Jardy 2017 when he won the ERM leg, but it looked like he hadn’t missed a beat as he skipped around Rüdiger Schwarz’s cross country course.
Michael was up on the clock as he entered the main arena for the final portion of the track, and he cruised home with 1.2 time penalties to take the win for Germany on a final score of 23.4.
“He’s a really, really nice horse,” Michael said. “He has a lot of quality in all three disciplines, and he has a super brain. He’s very easy to ride, and I’m very happy to have him back.”
Australia’s Chris Burton proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with on cross country, as he delivered the fastest round of the day aboard Lawtown Chloe to move from fifth up to second place and finish on his dressage score of 28.3.
As to whether the mare will be his go-to ERM horse for the remainder of the season: “If she keeps going like this, I’ll certainly ask her to. We’re delighted that she went so well — and what a great show we’ve had in Wiesbaden.”
Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob, who set the ERM dressage record of 16.4 yesterday but slipped down the leaderboard with three rails in show jumping, found redemption on cross country.
A clear round inside the time boosted Ingrid and “Bobby” back onto the podium to finish third on 28.4.
“It was really so much fun, and he really loves it,” Ingrid said. “From fence to fence, he went faster — ears in front looking. It really was pure fun to ride him around here. Thank you to the big crowd for cheering us on.”
The 2017 Wiesbaden champions, Britain’s Sarah “Cutty” Cohen and Treason, delivered the third clear round inside the time to move from seventh up to fourth place on 29.1.
Louise Romeike and Waikiki 27 added 1.6 time penalties to finish fifth on 30.9 for Sweden. Australia’s Bill Levett and Shannondale Titan added 4.4 time penalties for sixth place on 31.2.
Germany's Andreas Ostholt and Pennsylvania 28 were the only pair to pick up jumping penalties, with an unfortunate runout at 7B dropping them from fourth overnight to finish in 11th place.
Looking to the series standings after Leg 2, Laura Collett and Michael Jung are now tied for the lead with 30 points. Chris Burton and Tom McEwen sit in equal third with 28 points. Lucy Jackson and Ingrid Klimke share the fifth spot with 26 points.
The final results from Wiesbaden can be viewed here, with the series standings following leg two here.
Coming Next in ERM:
The third leg of the 2019 Event Rider Masters series sees us head to Arville in Belgium on the 22nd and 23rd of June. Set within the walls of the family estate of Guillaume de Liedekerke, close to Namur, Arville is an exquisite estate with extensive woodland, soft hills and a picturesque lake — the ideal landscape for eventing.
Near, far, wherever we are, we'll be bringing you all the action as it happens on eventridermasters.tv. Don't miss it.
Supplied by ERM and Equestrian Australia