German newspapers this morning are awash with reports and speculation over an announcement that Matthias Rath will not aim his champion mount Totilas toward the upcoming FEI World Cup series. Instead, he'll focus on preparing Totilas to be a representative of Germany at the 2012 Olympics in London.
This comes as shocking news, of course, and a disappointment to dressage fans, but the physical stress of the indoor winter circuit, especially for a horse that is chasing the title, can be immense. A heavy winter show season is a great risk if the horse is being prepared for a peak performance in the summer.
It makes one wonder: Will Totilas be the only one saved for summer or will other nations also decide to keep their top horses under wraps this winter as well? The Jurga Report will continue to cover the increasingly winding, twisty road to London.
Totilas has a lot to prove to his critics and its certain that his team has a plan. It should be noted that Matthias Rath did not rule out any competition over the winter but stressed that Totilas won't be, as we'd say in America, chasing the title. This would also allow him to pick and choose where he competes, and also avoid competing in the same World Cup events where the top team horses from other countries will be on the slate.
That technique may or may not be intentional, but it does accelerate the tension for London 2012 and the continuing mystery of what the future holds for Totilas, the world's most expensive sport horse.