Totilas Pulls Out of World Dressage Masters Palm Beach
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WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 6–Totilas will not compete in the World Dressage Masters in Florida that was to kick off the stallion’s return to competition leading up to the London Olympics because the horse is still recovering from an injury sustained a month ago.
Organizers of the €100,000 ($127,500) CDI5* on Friday announced the withdrawal of the horse ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath from the Jan. 26-28 event after receiving a report from Paul Schockemöhle, one of Totilas’s owners, on the horse’s condition.
The scratching of Totilas is the second major withdrawal from the event–Anky van Grunsven decided against competing with Salinero after her husband, Dutch team coach Sjef Janssen, underwent medical treatment that required him to remain in Holland.
The last competition for Totilas in 2011 was the European Championships in August.
The USA’s Steffen Peters and Ravel, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro and Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén, who has two top Grand Prix mounts, Favourit and Don Auriello, are among those scheduled to compete at the WDM that will be held for the fourth year, twice at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington and now twice at the Jim Brandon Center in West Palm Beach.
Noreen O’Sullivan of Wellington Classic Dressage, organizer of WDM Palm Beach, said in a statement after receiving a call from Paul Schockemöhle an owner with Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff:
“I am very sorry to announce that Totilas will not be able to compete in this year’s World Dressage Masters Palm Beach. The owners feel the horse has just returned to light work after an injury and would not be ready for this event.”
She said Paul explained that Totilas “twisted a joint in his leg” a few weeks ago and before the Frankfurt World Cup event that is organized by Ann Kathrin, her husband, Klaus Martin Rath, and his son, Matthias Alexander who rides the horse.
“The horse was lame and was treated by the vet, but still lame after four weeks,” Paul was quoted as saying. “The vet asked that the horse be walked again for 10 days during Christmas, and is just starting back in light work. We really feel the time is too short for the horse to be in top form for the Masters. Our main focus is for the horse, and this is very important.”
The World Dressage Masters series in the past two years has consisted of Palm Beach; Munich, Germany; Falsterbo, Sweden and Hickstead, England. However, because of date conflicts caused by the London Olympics
over two weeks from the end of July, Hickstead canceled the show for this year.
Anky van Grunsven won the first two WDM events in the U.S. and Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, won in 2011.
For Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, members of the team that won an historic first gold medal for Great Britain at the 2011 European Championships, this will be their first competition outside continental Europe. The pair won the Grand Prix at the Olympia World Cup event in London three weeks ago.