Pride and Totilas

As a big fan of equestrian sport and especially dressage I now find that it is more than time to write and also comment a little bit on the top names discussed in the dressage world at this moment. Totilas-Rath-Gal.
Edward Gal as part of the Dutch Equipe brought Moorlands Totilas - a black KWPN bred stallion to be the most recognized and exceptional horse of all times. The couple delivered brilliant performances, reached percentages which before would have been declared as "out of reach" and stunned with pure harmony and perfection in the ring.

The Netherlands and Germany are known to be all time rivals in this sport. The Dutch have as many famous riders as Germany as names like van Grunsven and Cornelissen are as familiar associated with top sports as Werth and Balkenhol. Rivalry among top sports is usually good for the competition as it keeps it interesting and vital. But lately sporty reasons have been more and more replaced with jellousy and envy accompanying the topic and reached a ridiculous state. One cannot accept loosing anymore - which also belongs to (top)sport. The Germans could not wait to aquire the worth 10-15 Billion € stallion to (hopefully) outperform the Dutch in the coming season (Looking at Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival it is again a difficult one as she continuously managed to score top percentages. And don't forget the English - Hester and Dujardin are also delivering amazing performances). Is it not a pity that they are not focusing on their own strengths rather than always looking at what the others have.
Nevertheless, after all the Rath - Linsenhoff family acquired Totilas together with Paul Schockemoehle known from the showjumping and breeding world. It was not Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff who was supposed to appear in the show ring with the black magic horse - it was her step son and son of Klaus Martin Rath, also a known person in the business. Matthias Alexander Rath is in his mid twenties and has not been introduced to the Champions League of dressage until the time he was to team up with Totilas. In the first shows the two seem to need some more time to get used to each other, the stallion was - nevertheless mostly showing what he has. The audience and the media was of course critical towards the new couple and did not show that much mercy with the young sportsman. During the last couple of months it became more and more certain that the combination of Rath and Totilas are troubled and stressed as one could observe throughout performances. The harmony was missing and Totilas sticked out his tongue during the exercises. As this is not enough the media is informing that Rath hired the Dutch national coach to help him work with Totilas. How ridiculous. And how odd that they hired somebody who has a mediocre reputation in Germany regarding his methods (which were also abondoned by Klaus Martin Rath a couple of years ago.). How odd. The latest rumours are that an investor from Austria is interested in buying the stallion to give him back to Edward Gal who recently signed a contract with the Austrian Equipe for 10 years. In an interview it became clear that the deal about Totilas is more than uncertain. But while reading between the lines it also became apparent that Gal would be more than happy to have his black friend back under the saddle.
In an interview with Paul Schockemoehle which followed I was very much reminded to the political desaster about the German president and his refusal to resign in order to avoid further damage. An update on this issue can be found here.
Schockemoehle should also step down and consider selling the horse so that it can be re-united with its former owner Edward Gal and can show us supreme dressage again - and release the young chap Matthias Alexander Rath from this enourmous pressure. Next to that it is not only about the pride of some super rich horseman or about some assumptions to be only able to win medals with buying the rival's top horse (look at the English or the Dutch with more top horses), it is further more also about the well being of an animal which has been pushed to the background. I just hope that certain people come to their minds and act rationally - in the name of the horse, and the sport.

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