Two German sports media are quoting Dutch dressage rider Edward Gal as offering to change his nationality in order to regain the ride on his triple-gold medal winner Totilas.
At the 26th International Stuttgart German Masters Horse Show today, Gal was interviewed by the press and said that he had not been asked by the horse's new owner, German horse dealer and stallion promoter Paul Schockemohle, but that he would like the ride back.
A basic knowledge of German reveals that Edward Gal was expressing interest in being reunited with the horse that he brought to the top of the world, breaking all scoring and public affection records as they rose to the occasion of the world championships at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at Lexington, Kentucky in October.
Soon after Gal and Totilas returned to The Netherlands with all three gold medals in dressage, Gal learned that the horse had been sold by the owners without his knowledge to the German dealer, who is known for promoting stallions such as Sandro Hit.
Throughout the World Equestrian Games, Gal denied rumors that Totilas had been sold to American interests. Schockemohle was present at Lexington.
The German interview includes a distinct reference to Gal being open to changing nationalities for the 2012 Olympics. It will be interesting to learn if the Dutch press was also present at this interview and how they interpreted the same comment. The Germans quote Gal directly and do not paraphrase his words.
Edward Gal finished third in both Stuttgart's Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special behind Victoria Max-Theurer of Austria and Isabell Werth of Germany. He rode his 11-year-old mare Sisther de Jeu, who is by Gribaldi, the stallion who sired Totilas. Werth rode her up-and-coming international star, the nine-year-old El Santo, who was also awarded the prestigious 2010 Otto Lorke Prize for German dressage horses under the age of ten. El Santo is owned by Madeleine Winter-Schulze.
Werth also won the dressage freestyle, which was a German sweep. Werth rode Satchmo to a score of 82.880. She was followed by Ulla Salzgeber on Herzruf's Erbe (79.850) and Hubertus Schmid on Dark Diamond (76.400).
Exactly a year ago, Gal and Totilas won the freestyle at Stuttgart with a score of 87.800. Re-live it on YouTube.
by Fran Jurga | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
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