Maria Eilberg, British dressage rider

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    Maria Eilberg, daughter of successful dressage rider and trainer Ferdi, began her riding career at her local riding school, before she progressing on to her pony Midnight Cowboy aged six. She was a keen member of the West Warwickshire Pony Club with ponies Dancing Eyes and Willoway Seasong.

    She went on to win the Under-13s dressage championship with former event pony Brother Thomas at the age of 11, and was the reserve overall champion by the age of 13.

    By 14, she had been selected for the European dressage championships and in both 1999 and 2001 won two team silver medals. She was a member of the junior team in 2001 and 2002, and a member of the young rider team in 2004 and 2005 with the horse Topscore.

    In 2006, Maria was selected for the World Equestrian Games as travelling reserve and in 2007 she won the national grand prix freestyle title — both riding her horse Two Sox. Once again she was selected as a travelling reserve in 2008 for the Olympics and later that year was crowned British national dressage champion.

    Finally, after years of hard work, Maria was selected for the British senior team, with a late call up for the 2009 European championships, where she was part of the silver-medal winning team. Later on in the year, Two Sox and Maria swooped the runners-up spot at the national championships.

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