The dressage stallion Totilas has been officially retired from competition.
A statement released (18 August) on the horse’s Facebook page confirmed the news.
“As already known from various sources, the examination last weekend showed that Totilas has an edema in the bone. This is being treated in the best possible way by a superb team of veterinarians. Resulting form this new injury we collectively came to the decision against the active sport. Totilas will not come back into the competitive dressage sport in the future.
“His injury is going to heal on his home yard Schafhof, given all the time it needs. This will also give him a gentle transition into his athletic retirement.”
The owners of Totilas hope he will be able to resume stud duties at Paul Schockemöhle’s stud in future.
With his rider Matthias Rath, Totilas made his much-awaited return to championship competition last Thursday at the FEI European Championships.
However, the stallion showed some irregular steps during the team Grand Prix test, and did not achieve the lofty scores he was previously capable of. Germany then had to settle for bronze behind The Netherlands and Great Britain.
Following veterinary examination the day after the competition, Totilas was found to have a periostitis (bone infection). He was subsequently withdrawn from the Grand Prix Special.
It was suggested at the time that we might never again see the stallion compete, and now the news has been officially confirmed.
“We really hope for the understanding of all those people, that are moved by this horse as much as we are. Also we would like to take the opportunity to thank all the admirers and fans for their support during all this time,” the statement continued.
Totilas burst on to the Grand Prix scene in 2009 with his former rider, the Netherlands’ Edward Gal. The pair went on to smash records in dressage, winning team and individual gold at the Europeans in 2009 and the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. They were the first pairing in the history of the sport to break the 90% barrier.
There was much controversy in October 2010 when the horse was sold to Germany, having been bought by breeder Paul Schockemöhle and Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff.
With new rider Matthias Rath, Totilas never achieved the same levels of success, with the partnership plagued by illness and injury.
But the fact remains that Totilas put dressage on the map, and will be remembered as one of the most successful horses of all time. As his owners stated on the official Totilas Facebook page: “How much the international dressage sport owes to this horse is almost impossible to put into words. Never before has a dressage horse moved and thrilled these masses – no matter if horse-enthusiast or not, young or old.”
Photo Source horseandhound.co.uk