Horse & Hound
Dante powers to the crown
Michael Eilberg’s seven-year-old champion shows promise for an exciting future, while Waverley Fellini scores plus-90% in the five-year-old class
Shearwater/BD British Young Horse Championships, Keysoe, Beds
“HE’LL be amazing when I can let him fly,” said Michael Eilberg of Dante VX, winner of the inaugural British Dressage (BD) seven-year-old championship. “He has a real engine.”
The powerful Dante Weltino gelding, bred by Emma Blundell at the Mount St John Stud and now co-owned by the Eilbergs and Nicky Reid, impressed in a strong class. But building Dante’s confidence since foalhood has been a careful process, according to Michael.
“He tends to be quite hard on himself when he makes a mistake, so we’ve had to look after his mind and keep him in a good place,” he explained. “As the years go by, he has become braver and braver.
“Dante is very talented for the higher-level work and a bit of a piaffe machine,” added Michael. “There’s not only a whopping extension at walk, trot and canter but also the ability to collect.
When he was four, I thought he would probably be a bit big and slow; he is big, but he’s anything but slow. It’s amazing how horses can change and surprise you.”
Mount St John Diamonds
Are Forever dazzled to take the four-year-old Shearwater championship, under Amy Woodhead, while six-yearold winner High Hoes Estelle continues to fulfil early promise with Dannie Morgan. But it was Furstenball gelding Waverley Fellini who nailed the weekend’s highest score, achieving 92.69% to head the five-year-old class.
“‘Leni’ has a great work ethic and seems to grow in a big atmosphere,” said Greg Sims, who recognised potential when he backed the horse as a threeyear-old and now owns him with partner Stena Hoerner. “His balance has always been good and there’s no weakness in any gait.
“I would love the opportunity to take Leni to the FEI World Breeding Championships in Verden, if the selectors choose him,” added Greg.
“It would be an amazing experience for both of us.”