Germany's rider Jung on brink of Grand Slam

London (AFP) –


Germany's Michael Jung was on the brink of landing the richest prize in three-day eventing after a superb cross-country round in the Badminton Horse Trials in south-west England on Saturday.

Any rider who wins consecutive titles at Burghley in England, the United States' Kentucky event and Badminton completes the Grand Slam and with that claims a jackpot worth £240,000 ($347,000, 305,000 euros).

The only rider to have completed this treble is Britain's Pippa Funnell and that was 13 years ago.

However, Olympic and European champion Jung, who also stands to win £80,000 for coming first at Badminton, knows he can afford to have two fences down in Sunday's concluding showjumping phase and still take the title.

Jung leads compatriot Andreas Ostholt by nine penalties, with Britain's Gemma Tattersall (Arctic Soul) second and New Zealand's Mark Todd, one of three-day eventing's all-time great riders and a double Olympic champion, currently third aboard Leonidas II.

But all eyes will now be on Jung and his London 2012 gold-medal winning mount La Biosthetique-Sam.

"Everything is so easy for him," said Jung of his star horse. "He jumped so powerfully, galloped very easily inside the time, and it is an amazing feeling.

"It (Badminton) is a course for this horse," the 33-year-old added. "He likes the cross-country so much."

Asked about the Grand Slam, Jung said: "It is one step closer, but now we enjoy the moment on what has been a very nice day. I am so happy that I can ride such a nice horse, and we are looking forward to tomorrow.

"It is an amazing feeling. He is so beautiful to ride in cross-country. I had many options in my head, but at every fence he knew exactly what he had to do.

"Anything can happen on the day -- as riders, we know that -- but this horse is amazing."