Totilas Back in Work Preparing to Return to Top Competition
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, June 20–Totilas, the black super stallion, is back in work after an injury in breeding wiped out his 2013 competition schedule and may not be ready to compete until next year’s outdoor season when the horse will be 14 years old.
Sjef Janssen, the former Dutch high performance coach who is now the trainer of Totilas ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath of Germany, told dressage-news.com Thursday the horse is now being ridden after recuperation from the injury
The status of Totilas (Gribaldi x Glendale) has special significance at this CHIO, the premier event in Netherlands’ horse sports, as his former rider, Edward Gal won the CDI3* Grand Prix Wednesday on Glock’s Voice and will lead the Dutch team on Glock’s Undercover in the Nations Cup Thursday.
Totilas was injured in January during a breeding accident.
Sjef would not give a timetable of the horse’s return to the show ring or whether Matthias would be able to fulfill his short term goal of competing on the 2013/2014 World Cup circuit.
Matthias travels once a week from Frankfurt to the training center at Erp, Netherlands for coaching on some young horses, including the seven-year-old Bretton Woods as well as Totilas.
Since the accident, the horse has not been able to be bred although he was bought by Paul Schockemöhle of Germany’s Performance Sales International and the wealthy former German Olympic team gold medalist Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, stepmother of Matthias, for a reported €9.5 million (US$12.3 million) in October, 2010.
The horse underwent an intensive breeding schedule that recovered a large part of the purchase price in the first two years.
Totilas has gone through a roller-coaster journey since the horse was bought by Paul Schockemöhle and the wealthy former German Olympic team gold medalist Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, stepmother of Matthias, for a reported €9.5 million (US$12.3 million) in October, 2010.
The PSI-organized Horses and Dreams CDI4* at Hagen was to be their competition premiere in April, 2011. An injury led to that being postponed to Munich, a month later.
Controversy dogged the family over an intensive promotion campaign that included a line of Totilas clothing, training by his father, Klaus Martin, and results that fell short of the two years under saddle with Edward Gal of The Netherlands that produced world records in all three Grand Prix classes.
A less intensive competition schedule was planned for 2012 as the pair were campaigning for the Olympics in London, but after a successful showing at Hagen’s Horses and Dreams and the German championships in Balve, Matthias came down with mononucleosis that left him unable to ride.
After the Games, Sjef, the former Dutch team coach, took over the training from Klaus Martin.
Matthias was dropped from the German A-list because of a lack of performances.
Then the leg injury to Totilas occurred in January.
Sjef would not speculate on when Totilas might be ready to return to the competition arena, but the schedule he laid out indicated the horse might not be ready for the 2013/2014 World Cup schedule that Matthias says is his short term goal.
“We are now working on the tournament comeback. In the long term, the goal is to be at the 2016 Olympic Games,” he said earlier this year