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.”

 ??  ?? “He has a real engine,” says Michael Eilberg of his seven-year-old champion, the Dante Weltino gelding Dante VX
“He has a real engine,” says Michael Eilberg of his seven-year-old champion, the Dante Weltino gelding Dante VX

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