The capacity crowds at the Alltech FEI European Jumping & Dressage Championships at Windsor were treated to a historic moment as the Netherland’s Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas smashed their own world record when scoring 90.70% to win the Freestyle gold medal.
As Totilas entered the ring he brought with him that spell-binding magic that has followed him everywhere over the last few months and the crowd were already electrified even before he entered the arena.
With “Totally Totilas” — a compilation of classical music with a modern and dramatic spin — ringing out across Windsor Great Park the most extraordinary horse-and-rider combination ever seen in the sport of dressage produced a spectacular display. The extended trot was so extravagant, the piaffe so elevated and the passage so graceful that it left those watching with a lump in their throats.
“I don’t know what to say anymore,” said an almost speechless Edward Gal after racking up an unbelievable 29 perfect-10 scores. “He feels so good you cannot describe it, you have to feel it but you cannot put it into words.”
Listen to Edward Gal’s interview
Grand prix special winners Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival had to settle for silver this time around on 87.35%, while Anky Van Grunsven and Salinero truly rose the occasion with a vastly improved performance to take bronze on 87.25%.
Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer finished fourth with Mistral Hojris scoring 81.750%. The big chestnut looked stronger and less relaxed than in his grand prix special performance, but Laura did a good job of managing him under the lights in the intense atmosphere.
Listen to Laura Bechtolsheimer’s interview
Listen to Emma Hindle’s interview
Listen to Carl Hester’s interview