A few months ago the horse world erupted as news that Edward Gal's mythic black partner was sold, literally out from under him if you believe some reports, to the German maestro of horse breeding and training, former show jumper Paul Schockemohle.
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued all over the horse world and social media petitions and pages were created in hopes of keeping the magnificent Dutch Gal as rider of the now-German stallion. Clearly, these hopes were doomed from the onset. Shortly thereafter the horse's new rider was announced to be Matthias Rath, the 26 year-old stepson of Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff, former Olympic medalist for the German dressage team and Totilas' co-owner with Schockemohle.
Yesterday, February 6th, when residents of the US were more concerned about Super Bowl commercials and hors d'oeuvres, the Germans were thinking about future gold medals and dressage domination. Matthias Rath and Totilas performed their first public display at the 2011 Schockemohle Stallion Show in Vechta, Germany. Yes, it wasn't perfect and yes, you could tell the two were still trying to understand each other's language. However, if that ain't perfect, I'd take it any day. I doubt the words "wicked step-mother" will ever come out of that young man's mouth, and I bet he's down on his knees every day and night thanking every conceivable deity for his unbelievable luck.