Totilas to Compete at World Dressage Masters Palm Beach

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Totilas ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath at the European Championships. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Nov. 10–Totilas, the reigning dressage world champion, will compete at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Jan. 26-29, joining some of the globe’s top competitors at the fourth year of the €100,000 ((US$135,000) event.

The appearance by the 11-year-old KWPN stallion ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath of Germany will be exclusive to the WDM CDI5* that will also feature the No. 1 USA combination of Steffen Peters and Ravel who will defend their title, The Netherlands’ Anky van Grunsven who won the first two Florida WDM CDI5* competitions, Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmsson Silfvén and other combinations to be announced.

Presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach, the Masters will run concurrently with the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3*/CPEI3* at the Jim Brandon Center in West Palm Beach. It is one of  three WDM events scheduled for 2012, the others being Munich, Germany, and Falsterbo, Sweden. Hickstead, England, has announced that it will not stage a WDM event in 2012 because of a conflict with the Olympics in London.

Totilas, when ridden by Edward Gal of The Netherlands, won the championship at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and holds the world records at Grand Prix, the Special and the Freestyle.

Matthias took over the ride early this year and was champion of the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, in July and led his nation to team silver at the European Championships at Rotterdam. Co-owned by Paul Schockemöhle and Ann-Katrin Linsenhof of Germany, the WDM will be only the second appearance outside Europe of the black stallion, the other being at the WEG.

With his current rider, Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, Totilas won the CHIO Aachen 2011 in July; Totilas and Rath went on to help the German Team win a silver medal at the European Dressage Championships in August.

“The word is out to the top riders in the world who are making their plans and looking to Wellington Classic Dressage and the WDM Palm Beach for an exciting winter season in Florida,” said Noreen O’Sullivan, Wellington Classic Dressage managing partner.

Steffen and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Akiko Yamazaki, will be the only combination to compete in all four WDM events. The pair won in 2011 after finishing as runnerup to Anky in the first two competition.

Noreen said she expects to make announcements of more top international entries for the WDM Palm Beach over the coming weeks, as well as provide details about tickets for VIP table seating and General Admission.

“We are planning an expanded General Admission Area, up-scale vendors for food and shopping, entertainment, and, of course, some great competition,” she said.