Michael Eilberg ‘absolutely thrilled’ with Marakov’s seventh in Aachen freestyle

  • Britain’s Michael Eilberg put in a great performance with his father Ferdi’s Marakov today (Sunday, 17 July) to finish seventh in the grand prix freestyle in Aachen.

    Michael Eilberg was “absolutely thrilled” with the horse and the pair scored 77%.

    “To finish the show off like that is fantastic,” he said. “That last test is an effort for the horse after the grand prix and the special.”

    The only slight glitch in the test was the 16-year-old not really halting at the start of the test.

    “I was hoping to go round the other side of the arena away from the camera when I came in, so that he’d be less stressed and stand better, but they rang the bell quite quickly and I didn’t have time,” he explained.

    Michael Eilberg praises Marakov after their freestyle at Aachen 2016. Picture by Peter Nixon

    Michael Eilberg praises Marakov after their freestyle at Aachen 2016. Picture by Peter Nixon

    Fellow Brit Emile Faurie scored 73.175% on Ulli and Bianca Kasselmann’s Weekend Fun, who is a new ride for him.

    “I couldn’t have asked for more,” he said. “I’m delighted. He didn’t do anything wrong.”

    The mark might have been slightly higher, but the horse seemed to catch a fly in his ear at the start of the trot half-pass left and twitched a couple of times, resulting in three 6.5s for that movement.

    “I kept trying to look to see what it was, but halfway through it came right again,” said Emile.

    Desperados on form again

    The Germans took the top three places again today.

    Kristina Bröring-Sprehe repeated her win in yesterday’s special with a brilliant test on Desperados FRH for 88.825%.

    Isabell Werth — the winner on Thursday and third yesterday — was back up to second today. She had a glitch when Weihegold OLD broke in the extended trot, but finished on 86.95%.

    Dorothee Schneider and Showtime FRH were just behind on 86.925%.

    Spain’s Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez managed to move up to fourth after sixth in the special and grand prix. His freestyle on Lorenzo ended on a crowd pleaser — he rode his final centreline with one hand and the vocals: “It’s my life and it’s now or never” from the Bon Jovi song, with the spectators clapping along.

    Full report of Aachen in H&H next week, out Thursday, 21 July.

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