4 October 2011
Sad news broke this first week in October of Maria Eilberg's former top ride Two Sox being put down. The 17-year-old horse was retired recently at the British Dressage National Championships in September, but the gelding broke a pastern while out in the field just a few weeks into his retirement and had to be put down.
Maria was said to have been devastate by the loss. She partnered Two Sox for nine years, and the pair had not missed a national championship during that time.
'Ed', as he was known at home, came to the Eilbergs as three-year-old. "He was thrown in as part of a deal on another horse dad [Ferdi] was doing on behalf of a client," recalls Maria.
Ferdi took a shine to him and kept him in the yard, training him up to Advanced Medium before Maria took on the ride in her Junior year. The combination grew together up the levels – with a little help from dad with changes as neither of them knew what to do – and really blossomed when they hit Grand Prix level.
In 2006, they were named as reserve for the World Equestrian Games and two years later travelled to Hong Kong for the Beijing Olympics as reserves. This was a character building experience for Maria as she had to be ready to compete at a moment's notice for each British rider but she never actually got to trot down the centre line in competition.
In 2009, they got their first Senior call up at Windsor Europeans and were part of the Silver medal winning team. A further team silver came the next year at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.
"Ed taught me everything I know," Maria told British Dressage during his retirement parade recently.MacWet are sponsors of Maria and send their condolences to her at this sad time.