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Wonder horse Woodlander Farouche and Michael Eilberg win Suregrow Fertiliser Advanced Medium Open Championship

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Many people’s idea of a perfect Sunday morning is coffee, croissants and a good read of the Sunday papers, but not for the hundreds who arrived early at Stoneleigh Park for the final, fourth day of the British Dressage National Championships. For them, it was to watch a ginger horse; not any ginger horse – but the one and only Woodlander Farouche (Furst Heinrich x Dimaggio), dubbed the ‘supermodel ‘of dressage.

There was an air of anticipation as the chestnut beauty, masterfully ridden by Michael Eilberg, limbered up for her 8.27am slot in the Suregrow Advanced Medium Open Championship and she didn’t disappoint. Now seven, and in her first year of ‘grown up’ competition, her performance was spellbinding and displayed all the qualities that earned the title of FEI World Young Horse Champion both as a five and six-year-old. They scored 79.05% despite an incorrect canter strike off and a change that was late behind, to win the title by almost eight percent.

“She always feels unbelievable,” said Michael. “She’s on fire and felt edgy in the collecting ring so I aimed to ride a nice test without boiling over. The half passes and fluidity were great. We had the couple of mistakes but everything she does is such good quality. Through a test, what a normal horse would be running on, she’s a mark above. Her base mark is 80%.”

“In the canter she was hanging to the exit - she can be a bit trickier in canter right – which caused the error in the canter on, but the mistake in the change was my fault. Her canter ‘tigers’ away, and her front can get away from the hind legs – I needed to keep her more together.”


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September 27, 2013  |   Share: