The former superstar stallion who is credited with bringing dressage to the masses will be performing at his first show since he was retired from sport after a sub-par performance at the European championships at Aachen in August 2015.
The now 17-year-old KWPN will be appearing at France’s major Saint-Lô show, which runs from 18-19 February.
Brice Elvezi, director of Group France Elevage (GFE) — the large French stud which helped devised the concept of the multi-stud stallion show — told H&H: “We’ve been working with [Totilas’ part-owner] Paul Schockemöhle for a few years now, mostly concentrating on showjumping stallions. But for this year we wanted to put a foot in the dressage world, so we went with the best: Totilas.
“Like everybody else, we’re really excited he’s coming. Totilas was the one stallion who brought dressage to the front of equestrian sport, and also to people who are not riding dressage themselves. He is the megastar who brings everyone to look at dressage and to love it.”
It is the first time the German breeding magnate has brought stallions to the French show.
Totilas will perform on the Sunday and is unlikely to participate in the Schockemöhle stallion show in Vechta, Germany, the previous weekend.
“He will probably not be shown in Vechta, only in Saint-Lô,” Schockemöhle stud manager Christoph Hinkel told H&H. “And yes, it will be his first appearance since his retirement, but probably only shown in hand.”
Totilas will arrive in France on Saturday 18 February and be shown the following day.
His stud fee for the year is €2,500 — around £2,100.
Other stallions appearing at the high profile show include the top eventing stallion Contendro, Balou Du Rouet, Catoki and Orient Express — as well as the dressage sires Fürstenball, Soliman De Hus and Vitalis.
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Totilas shot to fame under the Netherlands’ Edward Gal and was the first horse to break the 90% barrier. He was then sold to German owners Paul Schockemöhle and Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff and paired with Ann’s step-son Matthias Alexander Rath. They enjoyed international success, including beating Valegro when he had an off day in Aachen in July 2014, but their final outing, also at Aachen, did not end well.
Totilas appeared unlevel behind in the grand prix, was withdrawn from the remainder of the competition, and subsequently retired.
[Update: 10 February 2017]
Schockemöhle stud manager Christoph Hinkel told H&H today: “Paul has decided not to show Totilas at Saint-Lô [after all].”