Kronberg, Germany – Dec. 15, 2020 – Totilas, famed partner of Danish dressage rider Edward Gal, has passed away due to complications following colic surgery at the age of 20. The black KWPN stallion (Gribaldi — Glendale) had an illustrious career that earned him widespread fame. Kick starting his career at a young age, Totilas first began wowing judges and dressage enthusiasts after he placed fourth with Jiska van den Akke at the World Young Horse Championships in Verden, Germany. Olympian Gal picked up the ride with him shortly after and they rode down centerline for their CDI Grand Prix debut together in 2009. Totilas wasted no time racking up impressive scores, being awarded an 84.5% in their first Grand Prix Freestyle in Rotterdam.
Quickly finding their place among some of the best dressage competitors in the world, Gal and Totilas seldom received a placing less than first, breaking world records as they went. Totilas became the first dressage horse to break the elusive 90% scoring glass ceiling. After winning the 2009 European Championships, the pair received their personal best score of 92.3% in the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle at the London Olympia in 2010. They then went on to secure the overall victory at that year’s FEI Dressage World Cup Final in Gal’s home country at s’Hertogenbosch.
Gal and Totilas remained at the top of the sport, representing the Netherlands in the Lexington World Equestrian Games where they won three gold medals and scores up to 91.8%, proving to be unbeatable for many international competitions.
However, their partnership was short lived as they were separated in 2010 by a controversial sale that shook the dressage community. Totilas was sold for an estimated price of over $13 million to breeder Paul Schockemohle. Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, a German team rider purchased the competition rights for Totilas and passed the ride on to Matthias Rath.
The new partnership started off well as they won the German Dressage Championships and represented Germany at the European Dressage Championships. They won their first CDIO5* together in Aachen with scores up to 83.083% but an injury kept the talented black stallion off the team roster for the London Olympic Games. They returned to the show ring in 2014 with multiple international wins before Totilas was retired in 2015 following an injury with a bone edema.
Outside of his competitive career, Totilas was a KWPN licensed stallion and went on to sire numerous impressive progeny, several of which Gal himself rides including Glock’s Total U.S. and Glock’s Toto Jr.
In a social media post on Glock Performance Gal wrote “Heaven has a new star today, but my heart is broken. Rest in peace Totilas. You will always be remembered. Together with you I experienced happiness and even grief. Time passed by and wounds healed, but my love for you lasts forever. You honored me with your trust. You were my friend. My condolences to Matthias and all who had the chance to work or live with this exceptional stallion. And my thoughts to all of you who loved him. Goodbye my friend. I will miss you until we meet again.”