When you think about the offspring of the legendary black dressage stallion Totilas, what sort of foal comes to mind? Something sleek and shiny, probably black — and almost certainly not spotty!
But wait for it — enter Spotilas! Born in mid-May, the striking foal is the son of the world champion Totilas and out of a spotted Knabstrupper mare, Luna Af Nyskoven. He has been bred in Denmark by Henriette Magnussen and Bjørn Boesgaard, who took over the family’s dressage and showjumping stud, Stutteri Boesgaard, in 2005.
“Spotilas is really a dream come true for us,” Bjørn says. “The goal was to improve on the movement and strengthen the [Knabstrupper’s] dressage capacity, while keeping the characteristics of the breed. Totilas was the ultimate choice [of stallion], so even though the chance of spots all over or on most of the body are rather small, Luna was driven to Totilas in Germany.
“Luna is a great mare with the characteristics of her breed: beautifully spotted, intelligent with a good temper and very eager to work for her rider, with a big frame, muscular front, and power and action in her movement,” adds Bjørn, who believes Luna is the only Knabstrupper to have been put to Totilas.
The now 19-year-old Gribaldi stallion (pictured above at the 2009 European Championships) became a triple world record holder at the height of his career under Holland’s Edward Gal, also winning three gold medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Having been retired from sport in 2015, he has become a popular sire, and his spotty son is following in his father’s footsteps by causing quite a stir on social media.
“Spotilas is only three weeks old, but he has already gained a lot of fans,” continues Bjørn. “We feel very fortunate to be so lucky that our gamble gave him as result.”
You might also be interested in:
“The plan is to prepare him for grading, and use him for dressage, shows and breeding.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.