German dressage rider Matthias Rath has announced that he will ride the stallion Totilas in a public exhibition for the first time less than 30 days from now. The performance debut will take place during the stallion showcase at Vechta, which begins on February 6.
Since Rath took over as his rider in late November, Totilas has been kept at the Muhlen, Germany stables of his owner, stallion promoter Paul Schockemohle. Rath said that he has been commuting from his home near Frankfurt to ride Totilas. Rath said that his father and trainer Klaus Martin have traveled with him for the training sessions.
In rough translation from Rath's German statement: "I am really looking forward (to it) and curious about the reaction of the spectators," Rath said yesterday. "In springtime, Totilas will move into his new home in Kronberg." Rath said that the plan is still to delay the first competition for Totilas until the outdoor showing season begins.
The show at Vechta is a breeding exhibition, where Totilas's performance will help promote breeding to the impressive Schockemohle lineup of stallions.
The Dutch web site Hoenet.nl noted that it was at the Vechta show last year that the public had their last look at Gribaldi, the sire of Totilas. The black Trakehner stallion was managed by Schockemohle for Dutch owner Joop van Uytert. Gribaldi is believed to have suffered a heart attack and died soon after that show.
Meanwhile, back in Holland, Totilas's former partner seems to be swamped with new horses to train. Yesterday he competed at the indoor show at Zwolle, where he won the International Prix St Georges with Voice, a young black stallion just entering the show scene. Voice has been with Gal since the summer. The video of the performance was posted immediately on YouTube.
Photo of Matthias Rath riding Totilas ? Carmen Jaspersen, licensed to Fran Jurga.