Riding and training enthusiasts had the privilege of watching the world’s most prolific dressage dynasty in action when the Eilberg family gave a masterclass at Reaseheath College’s Equestrian Centre in Cheshire.
A sell out audience watched internationally respected coach Ferdi Eilberg, son Michael, daughter Maria and protégé Greg Sims demonstrate training methods from just backed youngster to grand prix level.
Ferdi is British Dressage’s World Class Director of Coaching and oversees the training schedules of Britain’s top dressage riders as they prepare for major championships. He is also dressage trainer to Ireland’s eventing team and holds an honorary fellowship from the British Horse Society for his services to equestrianism.
Michael enjoyed an early career as a show jumper and has continued to compete at the highest level since changing disciplines. He was a member of the silver medal winning teams at both the World Equestrian Games and at the 2015 European Dressage Championships, and of the bronze medal winning team at the 2013 European Dressage Championships.
Maria is a previous British National Dressage Championships winner and was a member of the silver medal winning team at the 2009 European Dressage Championships.
With the family was Greg Sims, current British Dressage ‘Young Professionals Award’ holder, who completed his apprenticeship with the Eilbergs and is now a permanent member of staff. Greg, who specialises in starting off the young horses, partnered a four year-old gelding, ‘Scirocco’, to enable Ferdi to advise on early training, in particular the importance of allowing young horses time to adjust their balance to the weight of the rider.
Maria, who partnered advanced medium ride ‘T J Benjamin’, showed training progressing through lateral work to collection while Michael, who rode his small tour horse ‘Sa Coeur’ and British team horse ‘Marakov’, demonstrated training for movements up to piaffe and passage.
Members of the audience were so keen to question Ferdi and his team that they were still in Reaseheath’s indoor arena at 11pm!
Reaseheath Equine Event Co-ordinator Heather Cooper said: “Our supporters were delighted to have the chance to watch riders and trainers of such calibre here in Cheshire, and we have since received fantastic feedback.”
Coming up in early 2016: Eventing masterclasses by Oliver Townend and Lucinda Fredericks Check out our dates at www.reaseheath.ac.uk/reaseheath-equestrian-centre