World Class Dressage Rider Visits NID

Northern Ireland Dressage were delighted to announce the arrival of world class dressage rider, Maria Eilberg, to a training clinic held at Danescroft Equestrian Centre on Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd February 2015.

Maria Eilberg is the daughter of the legendary, Ferdi Eilberg, one of Britain’s top riders and trainers who was originally from Germany. With the help of her father training her, Maria started her equestrian career when she was a member of the Pony, Junior, and Young Rider European teams from 1998 to 2005. It was during this time she won four medals, two pony European silver team medals and two young rider European bronze team medals. She was British Under‐21 Champion in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003.  In 2001, Maria took the British Medium Restricted title and, in 2004, she took the British Advanced Medium title. In 2006, she was selected as travelling reserve for the World Equestrian Games in Aachen. The following year, she won the British Grand Prix Freestyle Championship. In 2008, Maria was the travelling reserve for the Olympics with her famous horse, Two Sox. She retained her British Grand Prix Freestyle title and became National Champion. Maria continued this good form in 2009 where her success led to her selection for silver medal winning British team at the Alltech FEI Windsor European Dressage Championships.  The Autumn of 2010 marked Maria’s first World Equestrian Games where she impressed by taking her place on the silver medal winning team.

NID invited Maria to Danescroft Equestrian Centre to help with training some of their members. This training opportunity was kindly sponsored by Dressage Ireland through a training grant. Lessons were available to both Dressage Ireland and Northern Ireland Dressage members. Over the course of the two days Maria instructed thirteen private lessons and one shared lesson. Maria helped each rider perfect the work at their level while also providing tips and advice for the next level they were aiming at. Riders, depending on their level, worked through some of the the elements of the German Training Scale: relaxation; rhythm; contact; impulsion; straightness and collection.

There was plenty of hard work and it is fair to say that both riders and horses were put through their paces, with lots of homework to take away! Riders felt that Maria’s advice, skills and encouragement helped them, and their horses, perform at their best. Many thanks to all those who helped organise and coordinate her visit!

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