After winning the prix st georges (PSG) championship title at the British Dressage national championships yesterday (Thursday 18 September) with over 76%, Michael Eilberg talked to H&H about the future for the wonder horse Woodlander Farouche.
She remains unbeaten, and whispers about her being Michael’s Rio Olympics ride abound. But the 27-year-old rider from Redditch refuses to be dictated to by the calendar of events.
“We’re not pushing for Rio, but if it comes at the right time in her training, then great,” he said. “We’ll take her week by week and not aim particularly for any shows. When she’s ready, she’s ready.”
“It’s not all about Rio – there’s life after that.”
The mare has such huge paces that the only question mark is over whether she will be able to collect sufficiently to be as good a grand prix horse as she has been at the developing levels.
But, it’s important to remember that the last horse around whom the same concerns coalesced was Valegro, and his ginormous canter has been no impediment to him becoming the best grand prix horse in the world.
Michael added: “If we do things right with Farouche, and get all the mechanics correct, there’s no question that her scope for grand prix is fantastic. The basic quality isn’t in question.”
Michael made some mistakes in his PSG test at Stoneleigh, but they were mostly through the mare trying too hard.
“If you’re going to have mistakes, these are the best sort to have. In the three-times she slid in a one-time change, and you can’t get cross with her for that.”
Michael and Farouche are now set to head to the Horse of the Year Show for the Mount St John Future Elite Championship, where they will go head-to-head with the other small tour sensation, Anders Dahl’s Selten HW.
For the full report from the 2014 LeMieux British Dressage National Championships don’t miss H&H’s 11-page magazine report, out on Thursday (25 September 2014)