Moorlands Totilas Breeding Up to 175 Mares from Over 350 Applications

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Kees Visser, owner of Moorlands Totilas with the stallion and Edward Gal. © 2010 Ken Braddick/
Kees Visser, owner of Moorlands Totilas with the stallion and Edward Gal. © 2010 Ken Braddick/


MUNICH, Germany, May 17–Moorlands Totilas in his first year of breeding has received more than 350 applications from than 15 countries, at least half the requests from sport horse breeding powerhouse Germany. Up to 175 mares have been approved with the first Totilas foals to be born the end of February/early March in 2011.

Among the applications that excites Kees and Tosca Visser, owners of Moorlands Totilas, is to breed to the U.S.-owned mare Brentina that was ridden by Debbie McDonald to Olympic and World Equestrian Games medals and the first World Cup title for an American.

“We are very honored to have such a great mare with so many fans to breed to Totilas,” a Moorlands spokesperson said.

A mare owned by Moorlands Stables will be the first scheduled to foal.

Between 150 and 170 of the applications at a fee of €5,500 (US$6,740) for total revenue of up to €962,500 (US$1,180,000) will be fulfilled in 2010 by the KWPN-approved Gribaldi son.

Edward Gal, the trainer and rider of the 10-year-old black stallion that holds world record scores at the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle and won his first World Cup title in March this year, said that collecting semen from Totilas three times a week has not affected the stallion’s competition performance. Collections began in January.

At the Exquis World Dressage Masters at Munich, the first competition following the World Cup indoor circuit and the first outdoors since the European Championships last August, Totilas won the freestyle with a score of 88.450 per cent. Although the score was almost four percentage points below their world record created at London’s Olympia last December it was close to the marks awarded at Hickstead, England last July that set a record at the time.

Among the countries from which applications have been received are: Germany, USA, Netherlands, Finland, Portugal, Canada, Brazil, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey France, Australia and South Africa. Provision has been made to accommodate Southern Hemisphere breeders who have a different season than their Northern Hemisphere counterparts.

Criteria for selection of mares for breeding to Totilas include the competition record indicating a good sport horse, pedigree, approved offspring and height. The height factor is considered important as Gribaldi produced some small foals.

Moorlands said the breeding program has been designed to give breeders the best chance of success.

About 25 mares from The Netherlands have been bred. Six mares were approved from the U.S. and four in Canada.

Some countries that do not have a history of dressage breeding, have applied as an investment in the potential in the sport, or in the case of Brazil, what they see as a likely boost as that nation will host the 2016 Olympics.

Rather than deal with a single distributor in different countries, semen is shipped directly to individual breeders.

Almost all of the mares offered will carry the embryo to term, Moorlands said, with only two to three percent employing embryo transfer, primarily because of cost.

Breeders that have applied indicate they will be excited about the offspring even if foals have only 25 per cent of the stallion’s spectacular gaits.