Half Moon Delphi, Former British Team Horse, Debuts at Wellington With America’s Sarah Daenhert

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Sarah Daenhert riding Half Moon Delphi in their American debut of the former British team medal horse. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Sarah Daenhert riding Half Moon Delphi in their American debut of the former British team medal horse. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 16, 2015–Half Moon Delphi, the British championship team medal horse, made her debut with American rider Sarah Daehnert in a national Grand Prix at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Saturday.

The 14-year-old British bred Hanoverian gray mare, a fan favorite around the world when competed by Michael Eilberg, was awarded 66.100 per cent by the sole U.S. judge at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex.

“Good, but it could be better,” was the description given by the 36-year-old rider based in Wellington and the Chicago area community of Mettawa.

“I’m just getting to know the horse. Everything has to be much more together.”

Patrik Kittel, the German-based Swedish Olympian with whom she trains, was ringside to coach Sarah who  was still smiling an hour after the event.

Patrik Kittel fixing the tack on Half Moon Delphi with Sarah Daenhert aboard. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Patrik Kittel fixing the tack on Half Moon Delphi with Sarah Daenhert aboard. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Half Moon Delphi was bought by Bob Price, a Chicago area industrial designer, to join a lineup of talented horses that he has acquired in recent years for Sarah to train with Kittel at his Outstanding Stables in Nottuln, Germany.

After two months in Germany, the mare (DiMaggio x WestWall) was flown home to Chicago and then came to Wellington for the winter circuit along with several other horses Sarah competes.

Half Moon Delphi was competed at Grand Prix by Michael Eilberg for more than three years–winning team silver at last year’s World Games in Normandy and team bronze at the 2013 European Championships in Herning Denmark in the midst of a judging controversy that may have cost Britain the silver medal. The horse was among several including Isabell Werth’s Bella Rose that were adversely affected by poor footing at the World Games.

At Wellington Saturday, the horse appeared relaxed and fit and ready to work.

Sarah, who has never previously competed in CDI Big Tour, has entered the mare in a Global 3* Grand Prix and Special next month and at two CDIs in March. If she does not make the squad of seven or eight American combinations to go to Europe in May for final selection of the U.S. team for the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro she plans to go back to Patrik’s for training, anyway.

“I have a phenomenal horse,” she said.

“She has great basics and that’s what Patrik spends a lot of time on.”

Sarah Daenhert and Half Moon Delphi in their first American competition. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Sarah Daenhert and Half Moon Delphi in their first American competition. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com