Totilas May Not Compete Until Aachen in June

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Totilas ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath at Hagen, Germany last year. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Totilas may not compete until the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany at the end of June, according to a German news report Thursday, that would be more than a year since the black stallion was last ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath in their single CDI competition for all of 2012.

Totilas, who missed last year’s Olympics in London because Matthias was suffering from a viral infection, mononucleosis, and has been dropped from Germany’s elite squad, could be considered for the German team for the European championships in Denmark in August if the combination shine at Aachen. The CHIO is a traditional championship qualifying event.

The 13-year-old KWPN stallion (Gribaldi x Lominka x Glendale) and Matthias are ranked 320th in the world and will be dropped from the rankings altogether after April if they do not compete in the meantime as results count for only 12 months in the rankings. When ridden by Edward Gal of the Netherlands, the partnership was No. 1 in the world for 19 straight months. Totilas was sold to Germany after the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

Horses & Dreams in Hagen was the only CDI on their calendar in 2012 and was widely thought to be the first outing for 2013 as it is operated by Performance Sales International, whose Paul Schockemöhle teamed up with Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, stepmother of Matthias, to buy Totilas for a reported €9.5 million.

Although the results in the past two years have not matched those of the Edward Gal partnership, Totilas is still the most recognizable name in dressage around the world and whose charisma both within horse sports and outside is virtually guaranteed to fill a stadium wherever he performs.

“I do not know when he is planning the first show,” German coach Monica Theodorescu told WestDeutsche Zeitung. “I do not know if he (Matthias) has already planned it himself.”

Kai Meesters, the spokesman of the pair, was quoted as saying: “We have no plans yet when Totilas will start again in a tournament. We hope at the CHIO in Aachen in June. Matthias’s training is very relaxed, he’s happy.”

The 28-year-old Matthias switched to training with the former Dutch national coach, Sjef Janssen, from his father, Klaus Martin Rath who had handled the coaching duties from the first time Matthias rode Totilas.

The reason for the change was to “break new ground,” Kai Meesters said.

“Why not train with one of the most successful coaches in the world, if you have the most successful horse?”

Matthias has said that Totilas is not breeding much in 2012 so “the concentration is fully on the sport” with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as the goal, when the stallion will be 16 years old.