6 Aug 2012

by Carole Mortimer.

The British-bred Woodlander Farouche and her rider Michael Eilberg (GBR) made history yesterday at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, Germany by scoring the highest marks – 9.88% - ever recorded in the 15 years of the competition.

The Hannovarian chestnut mare, who won the five-year-old class last year, is also the only mare ever to have won the competition for both age groups, and joins the elite group of double winners that includes the stallions Florencio (WEST) and Astrix (KWPN).

The expectation for this mare was enormous. The moment she entered the arena the capacity crowd, many of whom had come especially to see her, fell totally silent. The spectators erupted with cheering and when her score, which included 10s for walk and general impression, was announced they gave her a standing ovation.

“This is a super horse, elegant, uphill with a trot of the highest level, a really impressive walk and an expressive canter,” said Dr Dietrich Plewa (GER), spokesman for the judging panel.

“This mare is so celebrated here - today she has no nationality, everybody is sharing her success,” said the mare’s British breeder Lynne Crowden, who owns her in partnership with Alison Walton and Family Eilberg.

Farouche has a world champion’s pedigree. Her sire is the 2003 World Young Horse Champion Fürst Heinrich, while her British-bred dam Dornroeschen is by the British-owned stallion DiMaggio who won the accolade in 2000.

“Farouche has raised the bar in my breeding programme. I breed 12 foals a year in the hope I can breed another that can match her quality,” said Crowden, who this year bred a full brother to Farouche courtesy of embryo transfer, as Dornroeschen is also competing under Michael Eilberg.

The silver medal was awarded to the KWPN stallion Borencio ridden by the experienced young horse producer Emmelie Scholtens (NED), a former winner at Verden with the stallions Asterix (2010 and 2011) and Westpoint 2009. The son of Florencio out of a Lord Sinclair mare and a twice winner of the PAVO cup in the Netherlands, was described as a horse of ‘high quality’. The final score of 9.1% included a 9.5% for his powerful trot, which was the highlight of the test.

The Oldenburg stallion Sir Donnerhall II (Sandro Hit-Donnerhall), owned since last year by the Swedish Nyreröd family, took the bronze under Danish rider Thomas Sigtenbjerggard. The elegant stallion is five years younger than his full brother, the popular stallion Sir Donnerhall, who was second here in 2006 and sired the five-year-old Champion Sa Coeur, a convincing winner in this age group under Eva Möller (GER).

Sa Coeur (Sir Donnerhall-Don Davidoff) was bred at Paul Schockemöhle’s stud farm, Gestüt Lewitz, and is owned by Hof Kasselmann KG. The horse’s high marks included a 10 for the walk and Sa Coeur was described as “a horse to die for” by Mariette Sanders-Van Gansewinkel, the spokesman for the judging panel. He has only been ridden by Möller for 10 weeks. “It is so much fun to ride a horse that will do everything right for you,” said Möller who is trained by her husband Dr Ulf Möller who was victorious at these Championships in 1999 with the now famous stallion Sandro Hit.

The Westphalian stallion Revolverheld 6 (Rockwell-Landstreicher) won the silver medal of this age group, four places higher than his full brother the stallion Rock Forever NRW, who was sixth in 2008. Ridden by Ann-Christian Wienkamp (GER), Revolverheld received a total of 8.98% and a mark of 9.8% for his walk, which prompted the response of “wow” from the judge’s spokesman.

Just 0.4% of a mark behind on a total of 8.94% and the winner of the bronze medal was the Dutch-bred black stallion Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr (Rodium-San Remo), whose canter  was described as “powerful and uphill” for a mark of 9.4%. His rider, Dinja van Liere (NED), was delighted with the result. “My goal was simply to ride a good test,” said the 21-year-old.

Riders and horses from 17 nations, including for the first time riders from Brazil and Hong Kong, took part in these championships.

6 Year Old Final: GOLD - Woodlander Farouche (Michael Eilberg) GBR 9.88%; SILVER - Borencio (Emmelie Scholtens) NED 9.1%; BRONZE - Sir Donnerhall II OLD (Thomas Sigtenbjerggaard ) SWE 8.78%. For full results please click here.

5 Year Old Final: GOLD - Sa Coeur (Eva Möller) GER 9.38%; SILVER - Revolverheld 6 (Ann-Christin Wienkamp) GER 8.98%; BRONZE - Duval's Capri Sonne Jr (Dinja van Liere) NED 8.94%. For full results please click here.

Photo caption: Michael Eilberg and Farouche make history at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Dressage Horses 2012 in Verden, Germany. Image: Digishots/FEI.

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