Totilas in “Fun” Training with Sjef Janssen–Matthias Rath

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Totilas ridden Matthias Alexander Rath at Hagen, Germany, their only CDI in the past year. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Totilas and Matthias Aexander Rath of Germany have begun training with Sjef Janssen, the Dutch national coach through last summer’s Olympics, according to the German news agency dpa.

“I’ve been a few days, it’s fun,” Matthias was quoted by dpa of the training at Erp where Sjef and his wife, Anky van Grunsven, operate a training center.

Matthias said he has recovered from mononucleosis, a viral glandular fever, that kept him from competing the black KWPN stallion (Gribaldi x Lominka x Glendale) at the Olympics.

A future competition schedule has not been worked out with Sjef though Matthias said last month before starting training fulltime with Sjef, that he hoped to compete the 12-year-old horse on the 2012/2013 World Cup Western European League circuit of eight events that begin this week at Odense, Denmark.

When ridden by Edward Gal of the Netherlands, Totilas won the World Cup in 2010, the same year the partnership swept the World Equestrian Games gold medals before being sold to Paul Schockemöhle of Performance Sales International and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, Matthias’s stepmother, at the end of that year.

Matthias first competed Totilas at an international competition at Munich, Germany in June, 2011. At the European Championships in August the same year, he and Totilas finished fourth overall. The pair’s only show since then was at Hagen in April this year where they won both the Grand and the Freestyle with new choreography, scoring well above 80 per cent in both classes.

Sjef Janssen was approached earlier this year about training the pair but arrangements were put off until after the Oympics in London.