When I first watched this video, I was confused–an Iberian horse, a Dutch horse, American country music superimposed–but now I think I get it. The great Spanish horse Fuego and the great Dutch horse Totilas did have some similar movements.
The Spanish horse perhaps wasn’t so unorthodox after all, when compared to the gold medal winner. Lay on some equally unorthodox music and it takes things so out of context that you see things as if for the first time.
In case you didn’t follow the recent World Equestrian Games, what you see here is a gray PRE (“Andalusian”) horse, Fuego XII, ridden by Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz of Spain. The black horse is the gold medal winner, Moorlands Totilas–now just Totilas–a Dutch Warmblood ridden by Edward Gal of The Netherlands. He has since been sold to German horse dealer Paul Schockemohle. The music was superimposed by the video editor.
And as for Fuego…
This is a very nicely edited video of Fuego’s unforgettable freestyle at the World Equestrian Games. There was a ghost in the huge stadium that night, and her name was Blue Hors Matine. Was Juan conscious of channeling her spirit, her jawdropping performance from WEG 2006? Another gray horse, another crowd favorite, another not-quite-winner…
In Kentucky, the crowd boo’d the judges when they saw the scores. They thought surely the Spanish horse had won the gold medal. But he hadn’t. Dressage is still dressage, after all. Theater and emotion are supposed to be set aside in the judges’ huts, but that’s much harder to regulate in the hearts of the ticket-holders and television viewers.
Fuego and Totilas are mirror images of each other in color, but they are the two primary horses that people will remember from the dressage portion of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. It will be fascinating to see where each goes from here, up or down on the scoring ladder, up or down in the hearts of the public.
For that one night in Lexington, between the two of them, they had it all.
This is the second of three blog posts on The Jurga Report featuring Totilas as he moves to a new home and a new stage in his career.
Read Part 1: Totilas and Edward Gal: Great Things Come in Twos