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‘My love for you lasts for ever’: Edward Gal pays tribute to wonder horse Totilas

Edward Gal has shared an emotional tribute to Totilas, his former record-breaking dressage partner, who has died, aged 20.

The Dutch rider competed the Gribaldi son internationally in 2009 and 2010 with huge success, becoming the first pair to break the 90% barrier, at the Windsor European Championships in 2009, and landing triple gold and another world record at the Kentucky World Equestrian Games in 2010.

“Goodbye my friend. Heaven has a new star today. But my heart is broken,” said Edward, who debuted the Totilas son Glock’s Toto Jr at grand prix this year, and may target him at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Rest in peace Totilas. You will always be remembered. Together with you I experienced happiness and even grief. Time passed by and wounds healed. But my love for you lasts for ever.

“You honoured me with your trust. You were my friend. I will miss you until we meet again.”

In October 2010, owners Kees and Tosca Visser of Moorlands Stables sold Totilas to Paul Schockemöhle, who retained breeding rights, while Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff bought the riding rights for her stepson Matthias Rath.

Totilas and Matthias made a winning start to their partnership in 2011, but had to withdraw from contention for the London Olympics 2012 when Matthias had glandular fever.

The horse’s final test was at the 2015 European Championships, where they were awarded 75.97% in the grand prix. The next day, Totilas was diagnosed with periostitis of the coronet band, and shortly afterwards, he was officially retired from sport.

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“My condolences to Matthias and his family and to all who had the chance to work or live with this exeptional stallion,” added Edward. “And my thoughts to all of you who loved him.”

Matthias confirmed the great stallion’s death, posting: “We will miss you so much and never forget you.”

Don’t miss the current issue of Horse & Hound for a full feature charting the life and career of Totilas, on sale now.

Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

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