Totilas & Matthias Alexander Rath in Fulltime Training with Holland’s Sjef Janssen this Winter
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Totilas, who missed out on competing for Germany at the London Olympic Games when Matthias Alexander Rath reported he was too sick, will go into fulltime training with Sjef Janssen in about three months, the Dutch national coach confirmed Tuesday.
The 12-year-old KWPN black stallion and “three or four other younger horses” will undergo training at the equestrian center of Sjef and his wife, Anky van Grunsven, at Erp, between Den Bosch and Eindhoven in southern Netherlands at the beginning of winter, Sjef told dressage-news.com.
Totilas (Gribaldi x Lominka x Glendale) and Matthias were to go into training with Sjef earlier this year but the plan was dropped after concerns that it could be a conflict with his duties as national coach ahead of the Olympics where the Netherlands won team bronze and Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival were individual silver medalists.
“We will really be training Totilas 100 per cent beginning in the winter,” he said, taking over the duties from Klaus Martin Rath, the father of Matthias. Klaus Martin is the husband of Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff, a German Olympic dressage team gold medalist, who is an ownership partner of the horse with Paul Schockemöhle whose Performance Sales International is probably the world’s most successful show horse breeding and sales organization.
“Most of the time the horse is going to be here, along with three or four other horses.”
Both Sjef and Anky train several international combinations, including riders in this year’s Olympics, Patrik Kittel of Sweden and Morgan Barbançon of Spain who rode Anky’s former World Cup mount, Painted Black.
Anky brought out of retirement her double Olympic gold medal mount, Salinero, to compete in their third Olympics together where they helped the Dutch team win bronze and finished sixth individually in the musical freestyle.
Salinero is back in his retirement pasture.
Anky will focus on bringing IPS Upido, an 11-year-old KWPN stallion (Ferro x Iphyn x Amethist) into the Grand Prix arena. Training took a back seat to preparing Salinero for the London Games.
Totilas and Matthias had established themselves at the German championships in Balve as a top prospect for the German Olympic team, but Matthias dropped out of the final selection competition, the CDIO at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, because of mononucleosis, a viral infection.
The withdrawal of Totilas, who was competing at small tour in 2008 when the last Olympics were held, came as a huge disappointment that the world’s best known dressage horse would not appear in London.
When ridden by Edward Gal of the Netherlands, Totilas held the world record scores for the Grand Prix, the Special and the Freestyle. The pair led the Dutch team to the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and also won individual gold. The pair also won the 2010 World Cup Final in their only appearance.
After the world championships, Totilas was sold to Germany. Matthias began riding Totilas at the beginning of 2011.
In the 18 months since, the black stallion has sustained injuries that delayed his German debut in April, 2011, caused him to withdraw from the family’s Frankfurt indoor competition last December and cancel a trip to Florida to compete in January this year.