One of Britain’s top dressage horses of the last decade was retired in an emotional ceremony at last week’s Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Championships (15-18 September).
Two Sox, 2008 British national champion and dual team silver medalist, was retired by his partner of nine-years Maria Eilberg following his grand prix test at Stoneleigh. The pair’s 73.45% earned them third place overall.
“Ed”, who hasn’t missed a national championships in the last decade and competed at grand prix level for seven years, was reserve for the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
However the 17-year-old Ehrentush gelding finally got his moment of glory when he was part of the silver-medal winning team at both the 2009 Windsor Europeans and the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington.
Maria Eilberg said: “Ed is quietly opinionated, especially since he’s been at elite level — I think it will be quite difficult to take him slowly into retirement as he loves the five-star pampering which comes with top level competition.
“He’s dad’s favourite and will certainly be king of the yard!”
British Dressage Chief Executive Amanda Bond said: “Two Sox and Maria have been a pleasure to watch and an integral part of Britain’s rise in the world standings.
“It’s lovely to see a horse and rider come up through the ranks and grow together to the very highest level — plus have the success they’ve enjoyed.”
“He’ll be much missed but Maria has some exciting prospects, although I’m sure no horse will ever take his place.”
Ed will continue hack out at the Eilbergs home near Redditch, Worcestershire, as well as enjoying time in the field.
For a full report from the Dressage Deluxe National Dressage Championships, including more reaction from Maria, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Horse & Hound this Thursday, 22 September.