Totilas, the famous black stallion ridden at grand prix by Edward Gal and, latterly, Germany’s Matthias Rath has been retired from sport.
He competed at the FEI European Dressage Championships in Aachen, Germany last week (13 August) and helped the host nation claim team bronze.
However, after the test — in which many observers claimed he was unlevel — he was found to have a bone edema and was withdrawn before the individual grand prix special.
Today (Tuesday 18 August), Paul Schockemöhle, in consultation with co-owners the Linsenhof/Rath family, released a statement confirming the 15-year-old Dutch warmblood was to be retired.
“After the past week and the now circulating speculations about Totilas’ future, we — as a family — would like to take a stand on this matter,” it read.
“How much the international dressage sport owes to this horse is almost impossible to put into words. Never before has a dressage horse moved and thrilled these masses — no matter if horse-enthusiast or not, young or old.
“The examination last weekend showed that Totilas has an edema in the bone. This is being treated in the best possible way by a superb team of veterinarians.
“As a result we collectively came to the decision, Totilas will not come back into competitive sport in the future.”
The statement continued that the horse would return home to recover, in “all the time” that the injury needs.
Providing it is possible, he is expected to continue to be available for breeding.
“We really hope for the understanding of all those people, that are moved by this horse as much as we are. Also we would like to take the opportunity to thank all the admirers and fans for their support during all this time,” the statement concluded.
With former rider Edward Gal of the Netherlands, the jet black Gribaldi x Glendale stallion broke records in all three grand prix tests. He was also the first horse to break the 90% barrier.
Since being sold to Germany in 2010, to be ridden by Matthias, the new pairing have been dogged with problems. This included missing out on the London Olympics when Matthias contracted glandular fever and the 2014 World Equestrian Games due to horse injury.
They did hit form for a time, beating Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro twice at Aachen in July of last year, but cold never reproduce that form on the world stage.
In the individual rankings in the grand prix at the European Championships, the pair finished sixth with 75.91% – with individual judges’ scores varying between 71.6% and 80.1%.
For a full report on all the action from the FEI European Dressage Championships, see our bumper H&H magazine edition, out Thursday (20 August).