Totilas Aiming to Represent Germany at European Champs Likely to be Ready to Show end of May

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Paul Schockemöhle in Leipzig disclosing 2011 competition plans for Totilas . © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LEIPZIG, Germany, April 28–Paul Schockemöhle, whose Performance Sales International bought Totilas for Germany six months ago, is being given extra time to recover from a hoof abscess but the competition goal for the stallion this year remains the European Championships in August.

The 11-year-old black stallion that collected world record scores at all the Grand Prix levels while amassing continental and world championships with Edward Gal of The Netherlands as rider and trainer, was to have made his first show appearance next week at PSI’s Horses & Dreams Meets Germany with his new rider, Matthias Alexander Rath of Germany.

However, an abscess on the left hind foot that is thought to have resulted from a bruise led to withdrawal of Totilas from the show at Hagen which will host more than 800 horses from 30 nations in what has become a the unofficial launch of the outdoor competition season in Western Europe. The bruise took longer to heal than originally thought. An issue was the use of medication to treat the abscess and the need to be sure that none of the medications remained in Totilas’s system so the horse would pass stringent drug testing.

“Totilas is in good form,” Paul said, “but we don’t want to risk his welfare by having him compete at Hagen because we announced this would be his first competition with Matthias. We will give him as much time as he needs to recover. We don’t want to risk him.”

Ulf Muller of PSI said that only a small number of ticket holders had asked for refunds as a result of Totilas withdrawing from Hagen, an indication of the quality of the entries. He said the appearance of Totilas could add 5,000 to 10,000 spectators but on the positive side there would be less congestion at the show without Totilas.

Paul said that the European Championships scheduled for Rotterdam Aug. 17-21 was the primary goal for 2011.

The hope is to compete at two shows in Germany between the end of May and mid-June when the German championships are held in Balve with the CHIO Aachen the second week of July that will be qualifiers for the Europeans. The two competitions have not yet been decided.