Video: Welcome back, Totilas!

After a two-year hiatus on account of injuries and rider illness, the German duo of Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas returned to the show ring yesterday, winning the CDI3* Grand Prix test in Belgium.

Top: Totilas and Edward Gal (NED) at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Photo by Kit Houghton/FEI.

Totilas scored a 78.68% — their test appeared a touch conservative and there were a few mistakes — but not bad considering his last international competition was in June 2012. To rewind, the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, formerly ridden by Edward Gal, was sold shortly after dominating the 2010 World Equestrian Games to German breeder Paul Schockem√∂hle.

Totilas

Edward Gal (NED) riding Totilas at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI.

Rath and Totilas initially struggled to develop a partnership but the picture they presented yesterday was pleasant and with Totilas being one of the most freakishly gifted dressage horses in the world, their future together seems bright.

I loved this description of the excitement surrounding Totilas’ late entry in the competition from Eurodressage:

The show grounds of the 2014 CDI Kapellen are buzzing with one word: Totilas. The international 3* dressage event kicked off on Wednesday 21 May 2014 with the youth classes, but already early in the morning whispers were heard that Totilas might be coming. The news was confirmed when the bright yellow lorry of Matthias Rath arrived on the show grounds at 16h00 with his two black stallions on board, Totilas and Bretton Woods.”

Unfortunately, their return comes just a little too late for a chance to make the 2014 World Equestrian Games squad for Germany — national dressage coach Monica Theodorescu required participation in the German Championships, which took place in mid-May, as a prerequisite for selection.

An interview with Rath after the test:

Go Totilas, and Go Riding!

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