The jumping phase at Luhmühlen, on an all-weather surface in the revamped main arena, proved influential, with a tight time, and there was some re-arranging of the top 10 placings.
Eventual winner Michael Jung added four jumping penalties to add to his 32.8 pen dressage score and his clear cross-country.
“I have some wonderful horses that are in great form" said Jung, who is now one of the favourites to win gold at the Olympics. "Leopin was fantastic on the cross-country and it is nice to know that he can do everything. I just made a little mistake in the jumping, coming in too fast to the combination.”
Dressage leader Lucinda Fredericks, fourth after cross-country on Flying Finish, picked up just two time penalties to move up to second place when Andrew Hoy and Oliver Townend, lying second and third respectively, hit an unfortunate three rails apiece. Hoy dropped to sixth place on Rutherglen and Townend to eighth on Armada, just behind his other ride, Sonas Rovatio.
Others who benefitted from Hoy and Townend’s slide down the placings were Germany's Andreas Dibowski, who went clear to finish third on FRH Butts Avedon, Andrew Nicholson, who rose a place to fourth on Calico Joe with one fence down, and Charlotte Agnew, for whom it was a career best. The young British rider jumped clear but incurred four time faults on Out Of Africa Two and went up a place to fifth.
Jung’s convincing victory at Luhmühlen, which shows the strength in depth of his horsepower, takes him into third place in the HSBC FEI Classics™, behind Andrew Nicholson.
Although the New Zealander’s weekend didn’t go entirely to plan, he has still closed the gap between himself and the leader, William Fox-Pitt (GBR), to six points, thus ensuring an exciting finale to the series at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (August 30-September 2).