Working with horses is the work of Faye Volgraby Young. However, the birth of son Lio has changed her priorities. She tells SWR Sport how she juggles marriage, motherhood, work and the love of horses.
Faye Follgraby-Young lives at home in equestrian sports – and has been a mom in private for a year. After a long break from tournaments, young son Lio ensures calm in the events. However, the perfect babysitting is part of it. Since her sister Freya is in the tournament, her parents-in-law are pushing the stroller, or her husband Michael Jung is out with Lio, Füllgräbe-Jung can really enjoy her return to the tournament scene.
But she has little doubts. “Of course you first think: ‘Can you continue to do this sport when you are a mother? “But there was really no question that I would stop completely,” she says in an interview with SWR Sport.
With “Ignaz” – the seven-year-old – Füllgräbe-Jung achieved new sporting goals. The horse is optimally trained at home at the Horb-Altheim riding stable and masters the dressage arena, the jumping track and the terrain – whether it’s jumping over logs or over often stunning water obstacles.
Olympic champion and her husband Michael Jung as a supporter
When the 32-year-old jockey, for example at the tournament in Radolfzell, easily sprinted to the end, her husband Michael Jung was waiting there. The two met while riding a horse and had been a couple for nearly ten years. The wedding followed and the birth of son Leo in April 2021.
When Lio dreams of new adventures in the stroller during the day, the Jung family shares housework and stable work. As the tournament’s jockey pair, an Olympic champion lends a helping hand as well: Michael Jung clears boxes in stable tents and tends hay for horses. Rider Fi can take care of hose washing and cleaning after tournament in a convenient way.
The daily life of the horse family
For Faye Füllgräbe-Jung, working with horses is both a passion and a profession. After graduating from high school, she initially trained as a veterinary assistant and later completed her studies as an animal physiotherapist. She has been working independently in this field since 2014 – until now as a mother. “I still have all my regular clients and I’m actually on the road five days a week. […] Most of the time, I take Leo and a babysitter with me,” she describes her daily life.
On weekends, Jung’s family is active in tournaments. Then the trio live together in a truck, next to the stable tents. It is a little cramped, as in a mobile home, but it is beautiful. Mainly because there is so much to do. This is due not to young son Lio, but to the role of Michael Young, who was not only Fei Füllgräbe-Jung’s husband, but also his coach. “I try to support her as much as possible, to motivate and help her. Sometimes it’s not that easy as a coach and as a husband,” the Olympic champion says with a laugh. Faye Vollgrabe-Young adds, “Family is family and if you have riding lessons, that’s your riding instructor. Plus, I always know what he’s saying is true.”
From a dog and horse trainer to a novice trainer?
However, there is tension in the tournaments: not with the contestant in question, but with the spectators. They both admit that it makes them nervous when their partner is on the horse, because then you no longer have any influence over what happens.
Whether both of them will one day watch as a training team when Son Liu runs into the area remains open: “I can’t judge exactly that yet. We started with horses and dogs, now the little one will come, let’s see.” Himself Fei Volgraby Young laughs.
One thing is for sure: Obstacles have never been a problem for this family!