Dressage superstar Totilas to ‘focus on sport’

  • Dressage superstar Totilas will have reduced stud duties in 2013, following two disappointing years of competition since transferring to German ownership.

    Paul Schockemöhle — who bought Totilas with Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff in 2010 — told the German magazine Spiegel that “everything went wrong that could have gone wrong” for the horse this year.

    Totilas has not enjoyed the consistent competition record he had with the Netherlands’ Edward Gal since being ridden by Ms Linsenhoff’s stepson, Matthias Rath.

    He failed to win an individual medal at the 2011 European Championships and could only manage second at the German national championships this year.

    The horse appeared tense and unhappy at the Schockemöhle stallion parade in February. At the Hagen CDI in April, Matthias attracted attention from critics, who alleged that the horse had been warmed up using the controversial rollkur, also known as hyperflexion.

    In June it was announced that Totilas would not go to the Olympics, because Matthias was ill with glandular fever.

    Totilas commands a stud fee of £8,000 and one of his progeny, sold in Germany in October, equalled the foal auction price record of

    But Mr Schockemöhle, who owns the breeding rights to the stallion, said competition would be the priority next year.

    “Next year sport will be the focal point. We are optimistic,” he told Spiegel.

    However, a spokesman for Totilas’ connections, Kai Meesters, said the quotes had been taken out of context.

    “Everything is fine and the relationship between Paul and Matthias is fine,” he said.

    In October, the German branch of animal rights extremists PETA filed charges against the owners and rider of Totilas, alleging that the horse was being abused by being kept in isolation and trained using rollkur.

    Prosecutors have not announced whether the allegations violate German law.

    Mr Meesters preferred not to comment on the allegations.

    “These are things that do not merit comment,” he said. “They [PETA] wanted some PR — and they got it.”

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (29 November 2012)

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