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This older video of Matthias Rath features his horse Unicef Triviant, not Totilas; it was made last summer but I thought it fit the mood of anticipation today as the world awaited the first official performance by the new dressage team of the Dutch stallion, the youthful German rider Rath, and German horse sports legends and co-owners Paul Schockemohle and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, Rath's stepmother.
The Jurga Report has received word from Germany that Totilas and Rath did an brief performance, approximately five minutes long, in the arena at the Vechta stallion auction in Germany today in front of a crowd of about 4,000 spectators.
Matthias Rath and Totilas in their first public exhibition, February 6, 2011, during the stallion auction at Vechta, Germany. This was not a competition. Totilas has not seen by the public since the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in October except for a very brief press event with Rath in November. Thanks, YouTube!
For behind-the-scenes shots, you can watch the state news report for Lower Saxony on Totilas at NDR.de (in German), which shows Totilas being unloaded from the van, schooling and in the stabling area (above). ?I'm sure many in America will be happy to see Matthias Rath wearing a helmet while he is schooling Totilas.
Press reports from Germany state that the Totilas Syndicate said they plan to stick to the original plan of launching their competition season when the dressage world moves outdoors this spring.
Meanwhile, Totilas has a dual career; he's not just the triple-world champion dressage horse; he's expected to excel in the breeding barn as well. His stud fee has been set at 8,000 Euros, or approximately $11,000US.
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