Moorlands Totilas “The Living Legend” Book to be Launched at WEG
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
“The Living Legend,” the story of the of life so far of Moorlands Totilas and illustrated by 160 stunning photographs, will be launched at the World Equestrian Games later this month where the black stallion will make his first appearance outside Europe and possibly the only time in the Americas.
The 10-year-old Totilas, ridden by Edward Gal of The Netherlands, is in only his second year at Grand Prix and holds the world record scores for all three levels–the Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle–to make the son of Gribaldi a superstar whose appearance at competitions in Europe produces sellouts and live prime time television coverage.
The 200-page book traces the life of Totilas from birth through the purchase by Kees and Tosca Visser looking for an international mount for Edward to replace Lingh and Ravel that were sold to the United States, to achievements in the show ring that have marked the horse as perhaps the most breathtakingly successful in history.
The book–the story told by Dutch photojournalist Jacob Melissen–is available in both English and Dutch.
The 160 photographs by top international lensmen Arnd Bronkhorst of Holland and Belgian Dirk Caremans as well as Jacob and a handful of photos from this correspondent require no translation; they speak all languages.
There are extensive interviews with the USA’s Steffen Peters and Debbie McDonald and show jumping greats Paul Schockemöhle and Nelson Pessoa telling how Totilas has moved them.
The deluxe hard-bound book shipped in a gift box is offered for sale on the web site http://totilas.nl for an introductory price of €49.95 (about US$64) plus shipping and handling, that will go up to €55.95 (about US$71.20) plus shipping and handling on Dec. 1.
For visitors to WEG, book signings by Edward will be scheduled. Dressage-news.com will advise details as they become available.
Even in this age of instant media where everything that can be known about anything is pretty much instantly available to everyone everywhere, to see Totilas performing live is an experience so emotional that hard-bitten old horsemen to folks who never before have cared about equines are so moved that many openly shed tears. This one-time war correspondent has seen Totilas compete at small tour as an eight-year-old prodigy in 2008 to several Grand Prix performances throughout Europe over the past two years and closeup and personal at his home has been struck by the emotions that Totilas inspires and the lengths that those closest to the horse function as a team.
While a book is no substitute for the real thing, the chronicle of Totilas through photos by the world’s top equestrian photographers and the words of eyewitnesses whose own achievements in the horse world have been extraordinary is a must buy for everyone who love horses or simply feel a connection with a legend for the ages that remarkably is still in the making.