Totilas and Matthias Alexander Rath are due to take part in their first competition in May.

Matthias and the 11-year-old dressage World Champion stallion will be making their global debut at a show at Kasselmann Stables in Hagen from 4-8 May.

I am very much looking forward to competing with Totilas for the first time in public,” said Matthias.

“He is a fascinating and superb partner and the last months have been very emotional for both of us. Hagen will be the first touchstone for us on our joint path to the 2012 Olympic Games.”

Matthias and Totilas have been training intensively since the start of this year.

Matthias’ trainer and father Klaus-Martin Rath said: “Over the past few weeks we came to the decision to start our outdoor season in Hagen, which offers the best conditions for our first show outing.”

Over the next few weeks they will work hard on sequences and exercises.

“We are all eager to see how things go in Hagen. The whole team is looking forward to it immensely,” added Matthias.