Half Moon Delphi Sold to USA for Sarah Daehnert to Seek Olympic Team Spot

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Sarah Daehnert on Samantha. © Lyndal Oatley
Sarah Daehnert on Samantha. © Lyndal Oatley

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Half Moon Delphi, Great Britain’s World Games and European Championship team medal winning gray mare ridden by Michael Eilberg, has been sold to the United States for Sarah Daehnert to seek a spot on America’s team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The 13-year-old mare 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 Swedish Olympian Patrik Kittel.

Half Moon Delphi arrived at Patrik’s Outstanding Stables in Nottuln, Germany Sunday ahead of Sarah’s arrival for long term training with Patrik in Europe.

“I cannot put into words how excited I am to have such a wonderful mare to campaign,” the 36-year-old Sarah said. “I cannot wait to get to know ‘Maggie’ in the coming months and to begin such a surreal journey. To have the support of Bob and trainer Patrik is fantastic and I look forward to the road ahead.”

Half Moon Delphi (DiMaggio x WestWall) has been 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.

“Half Moon Delphi is a super mare with such a lovely attitude and is a perfect fit for Sarah as she strives to reach team selection of the Rio Olympics,” said Patrik, who has ridden for Sweden at two Olympics, two World Games and three European Championships.

Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Michael Eilberg posted about the sale: “She left our yard today with loads of hugs and kisses and a box of her favorite mints to remind her of home! It has been a sad day to see her leave but i just have to think about all the great times we’ve had together. She has been an absolute pleasure to have and to train, riding her through the grades has been quite something and she will always be my first team horse.”

This is not the first top horse for Sarah thanks to support from Bob Price. Delphi joins Samantha, Breezer, Don Gigolo, Dream of Glory and the youngster Evander.

She competed several of the horses at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida last winter, including Uno Samantha and Costalero XII at small tour.

Patrik is married to the Australian Olympic and World Games rider Lyndal Oatley.

The United States has embarked on an aggressive campaign to return to Olympic and world championship medals podiums since Robert Dover, a six-time Olympian, took over two years ago as Technical Advisor/Chef d’Equipe in charge of the country’s high performance program along with Debbie McDonald and a new lineup of youth and young horse coaches.

About 24 American combinations from Young Riders up to team Grand Prix horses and riders are in Europe this year with financial support from mostly private individuals. The U.S. is fielding a team that includes Steffen Peters on Legolas and Laura Graves on Verdades, ranked No. 9 and No. 10 in the world, respectively for the Pan American Games in less than three weeks to try to win the sole team starting spot at the 2016 Olympics.

A small group of investors last month acquired Sandronnerhall from Spain as a future team prospect for Adrienne Lyle following the retirement of her 2012 Olympic and 2014 World Games mount Wizard.