The Eilbergs’ Pink Green Farm is something of a dressage oasis, beautifully designed with excellent facilities. It’s hard to imagine that when Ferdi first arrived 30 years ago, there was nothing here.
“It was all just fields on a steep slope,” remembers Ferdi. “I had Maria with me in her carry cot, so I set her down in the shade and started planning my arena.”
Three decades on, the yard has produced two of Britain’s most successful dressage riders. We take a look around.
1. The godsend horse walker
The recently installed Claydon covered horse walker proves invaluable for the Eilbergs and their team of five core staff. “It’s a much better version than what we had before. It takes six horses and is very spacious with rubber rather than wood so they can have a kick and squeal safely,” says Michael.
2. Facilities galore
The main barn is enviably light, spacious and airy, featuring vaulted ceilings, beams and archways, and leading straight out onto the viewing area in the indoor arena. And there’s no shortage of facilities — the yard also boasts a wash bay, a clipping/tacking up area and a solarium.
Father and son dressage supremos Ferdi and Michael Eilberg share some of their performance enhancing secrets — from playing with…
3. The canter track
In addition to a 30x60m outdoor arena and 20x60m indoor, the Eilbergs also have the luxury of a canter track, just in front of the family house. “It’s lovely to be able to work the horses out there in the summer and it’s fantastic for giving them an airing and a bit of a play,” says Michael. “I find it especially good for practising changes — you’ve got more length than on the diagonal in the school. It helps with straightness, channelling the horses between the sleepers and creating a 2m track.”
4. Far-reaching views
With its proximity to Redditch and Birmingham you might not expect the gorgeous rural views that Pink Green Farm boasts. The Eilbergs recently acquired more land to bring their total acreage up to around 11 acres, and they’re certainly in a beautiful spot.
5. Equine residents
Pink Green Farm has plenty of equine superstars in residence that we wouldn’t mind sneaking home, including Woodlander Farouche and her mother Woodlander Dornroeschen, Michael’s 2015 team ride Marakov and his other small tour horses Der Designer, Fuerst Sinclair and Half Moon Dynasty, plus Maria’s talented Royal Concert.
6. The future talent
Michael has high hopes for Farouche’s daughter, the now five-year-old Woodlander Walk On The Side (Wesuvio x Furst Heinrich). “She’s fantastic. She just needs some time to strengthen up — she’s long and leggy like her mum,” says Michael. She also has offspring of her own in the form of the eye-catching, cheeky Zorro, by Blue Hors Zack, pictured with Michael. We think he’ll be another to look out for in years to come.
7. Garlanded ancestry
With one of Britain’s top grand prix riders and trainers, not to mention European silver medallist Ferdi for a father, there’s no doubt that Michael and Maria come from exceptional dressage pedigree. Display cabinets showcasing the family’s rosettes and awards from over the years adorn the yard, and it’s enough to make any dressage enthusiast starry-eyed.