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WEG dressage: Michael Eilberg on a high after grand prix special

Michael Eilberg had the ride of his life this morning at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. He lies second at the halfway point of the grand prix special — the first of the tests to produce individual medals.

He rode Half Moon Delphi to 75.462% — well over his previous best in this test.

“I’m so happy with ‘Maggie’,” said the Redditch-based rider, who ironed out mistakes he made yesterday in the grand prix. “Her piaffe and passage was probably among the best she’s done in a test.”

The leader is Dutch rider Diederik van Silfhout (Arlando NH NOP), who until a week ago was a reserve rider. But with the withdrawal of Glock’s Undercover and Kingsley Siro, Diederik was thrust into the limelight.

He scored 75.924% with his enthusiastic stallion by Paddox, who is only nine, but bursting with talent.

Third is Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein on 17-year-old Digby, who has bounced back from retirement at the request of the Danish selectors (see video below).

The top 15 in the grand prix special go through to the freestyle, so Michael needs two riders to score less then him this afternoon to book his place in Friday’s kür.

Carl Hester rides Nip Tuck at 14.05 local time (13.05 UK time) and Charlotte Dujardin – favourite for individual gold – goes at 15.55 (14.55 UK time) with Valegro.

Grand prix special standings at lunchtime

1. Diederik van Silfhout on Arlando NH NOP NED 75.924%
2. Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi GBR 75.462%
3. Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein on Digby DEN 75.406%
4. Marcela Krinke Susmelj on Smeyers Molberg SWI 74.874%
5. Fabienne Lütkemeier on D’Agostino FRH GER 74.062%
6. Jose Antonia Garcia Mena on Norte Lovera ESP 72.689%
7. Belinda Trussell on Anton CAN 72.409%
8. Minne Telde on Santana SWE 71.359%
9. Mark Boblet on Noble Dream Concept Sol FRA 70.924%
10. Edward Gal on Glock’s Voice NED 70.392%

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