‘I come out with a smile on my face’: Michael Eilberg on his seven-year-old nationals winner

  • Michael Eilberg secured his first 2022 LeMieux National Dressage Championships title aboard Nicky Hannam’s exciting MSJ Encore (Eric) who led the KBIS National Dressage Championships seven-year-old young horse championship field.

    It was a title Michael had hoped the Escolar-sired Oldenburg, who was second in last year’s six-year-old final here at Somerford Park, would add to his tally. And their impressive score of 78.90% — over 3% clear of second place — ensured victory in the National Dressage Championships seven-year-old final was undoubtably theirs.

    “He’s always been a cool dude,” said Michael, who admitted he was feeling a little under the weather during his test, suffering from his annual bout of ‘nationals illness’.“Eric is a lovely character and is really trainable. He was second here last year, so to come back and win this time was a really nice bonus.”

    “His marks today were consistent throughout the whole test; I think he scored eights for all of his gaits. He’s got a special canter and his trot is lovely to ride. He walked especially well today, too.”

    “I’ll keep training him now to see where he can go,” added Michael, third in yesterday’s Saracen Horse Feeds inter I gold championship with MSJ Dante VX. “He’s got the brain for it and you feel like he tries to understand everything you try to teach him. I always find myself coming out of the ring with a big smile on my face.

    “I love coming to the nationals, but I seem to be ill every year!”

    Second place was Robert Barker on Christine Kirk’s Herbstrot who totalled 75.85%.

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