German dressage star horse Totilas was injured Wednesday during a training session with rider Matthias Rath in the indoor arena at Rath's family home.
Rath reports that a veterinarian examined the 11-year-old Dutch warmblood stallion's foreleg and found no evidence of a severe injury.
This type of injury could probably be termed a soft tissue strain. Totilas will now be rested and can only be handwalked, Rath said.
"I hope I can still start in Frankfurt," Rath said.
The injury happened just a few days after what might be called "The Totilas Christmas Special" aired on Hessian Television. As Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, Klaus-Martin Rath?and the well-known German television announcer for dressage events Carsten?Sostmeier?were interviewed in a studio setting, Totilas and Rath were shown training at home.
Sostmeier obliged his fans and gave one of his dramatic stride-by-stride commentaries.
[VIDEOSINGLE type="youtube" keyid="LgMzjVn6sn8", width="560", height="344"]&t=10m48s
Please advance the video to 12:45 to begin the live session on Monday of Totilas and Rath training. At 10:45 you can see some taped footage of his stable routine.
Sostmeier was obviously pleased with what he observed on the studio monitor.
The film clearly shows that Totilas continues to wear heart-bar shoes on this front feet. The supportive special shoes were added in the spring by German farrier Franz Helmke and are fully explained in this?article on?The Hoof Blog about Totilas's shoes and an article about the use of heart bar shoes for dressage.
Rath has made plans to compete with Totilas, who was sold to Linsenhoff and German stallion collector Paul Schockemohle in late 2010 for what is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a sport horse. They are scheduled for their first competition since August two weeks from now in the FEI Grand Prix at the important Reem Acra FEI World Cup competition at Frankfurt's Festhalle.
Totilas is the reigning world champion of dressage; he dominated all three medal events at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010 in Kentucky. However, at that time he was Dutch-owned, and ridden by Edward Gal. The Germans have high hopes for Totilas and Rath to turn in a medal-worthy performance at the 2012 Olympics in London.
But first, like every other horse and rider, they have to make the team.
Photo of Totilas and Matthias Rath by" target="_blank"> REUTERS/Alex Domanski/Fotoglif.