A painful splint has caused Totilas and rider Matthias Alexander Rath to be withdrawn from Germany’s dressage team to contest the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The German Equestrian Federation reported today that the combination had performed well at the team’s training camp, but on the eve of the team’s departure for France, Totilas was found to be lame and in pain after knocking a bone spur.
The decision to withdraw was made in consultation with team management and veterinarians.
The 14-year-old stallion is the defending World Champion, having claimed team, Special and Freestyle gold in Kentucky with Edward Gal in 2010.
The son of Gribaldi had been out of the limelight since his sale to German interests, but in recent months Rath has made an incredible comeback with the horse.
“Totilas kicked himself against an existing ganglion, which was followed by a painful reaction. For the whole team and me the wellbeing of the animal comes first and therefore we mutually decided against the participation in the World Equestrian Games in Normandy,” Rath said.
“This year and the comeback of Toto has been amazing and I was thrilled to be competing at WEG. Totilas was in fantastic shape and cancelling the games on this short notice is unbelievably hard for me.”
Totilas and Rath have been replaced with Fabienne Lutkemeier, 24, and D’Agostino (by De Niro x Shogun xx), who were in the German team for the 2012 London Olympics and were also part of Germany’s gold-medal winning team at the 2013 European Championships.
Rath said: “Now all my fingers are crossed for Helen, Kristina, Isabell and Fabienne.
“Girls, you’ve got this!”
• The Dutch team has also lost two horses from its dressage squad, after Edward Gal’s Glock’s Undercover was found to have a problem with his back. Gal will instead ride 12-year-old black stallion Glock’s Voice.
Danielle Heijkoop’s horse Kingsley Siro NOP has also suffered an injury, and the combination has been replaced by Diederik van Silfhout on Arlando NH NOP.