Maria Eilberg crowned British dressage champion at Stoneleigh

  • See pictures of the 2008 dressage champions

    Maria Eilberg and Two Sox went one better than last year to take the national dressage championship title at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, 21 September.

    Third in yesterday’s grand prix, Maria won the freestyle with 73.90%, which was enough to see her ahead of second-place Nicola McGivern (Active Walero).

    “It hasn’t quite sunk in,” said the new national champion. “Two Sox tried his heart out today and yesterday, too, his grand prix felt wonderful. He’s so much more confident in the arena this year and, although it’s a difficult floorplan for the freestyle he coped really well.”

    Maria produced a clear round with her father Ferdi’s 14-year-old gelding, with whom she was reserve for the British Olympic team in Hong Kong.

    Yesterday’s grand prix winner, Laura Bechtolsheimer’s Andretti, did not make it to the competition as her horsebox was stuck behind an accident on the M5 on the way to the showground.

    Hermione Black and Penny Pollard’s Royal Concert became NuuMed potential international dressage horse supreme champion under Peter Storr. The five-year-old won his own section before going on to beat Gemma Green’s four-year-old Zolansky into reserve slot.

    Peter said: “He was second to Valegro in the Shearwater championship and I’ve always loved that horse, so I thought we must be on the right track for the NuuMed if we weren’t far behind him in the week.”

    Alice Oppenheimer took the advance medium restricted on Wurlizer.

    “He produced a good clear round today and scored nines for his extended canter,” said Alice, who has finished her A levels and is now concentrating on riding for her mother’s stud, Headmore.

    Corinna Wyse added to last month’s Scottish championship title by winning the medium restricted here on Riva. The mare spent six months on box rest after chipping a fetlock one week after last year’s nationals.

    “It’s wonderful to have her back,” said Corinna. “I thought if she was on form today we might be placed but I never expected the win.”

    Emma McCombe won the prelim riding Rohan, her six-year-old 16hh chestnut gelding. Emma, 19, is an apprentice with Di Breeze, and hopes to be back next year at elementary level.

    For full report, pictures and in-depth analysis from the national dressage championships don’t miss Horse&Hound’s 25 September issue

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