Taking The Dressage World By Storm
 By Chris Antley Memorial   •   10th Jan 2011   •   8,612 views   •   13 comments
For a long time I always looked at Dressage as a boring form of riding with no excitement. Then after I came across a Youtube video of a black 17.1 hand Dutch Warmblood stallion, the way I looked at Dressage changed. The horse’s name is Moorlands Totilas, nicknamed Toto. He went on to be considered one of the most outstanding competitive Dressage horses in the world.

In July 2009 the pair broke Anky van Grunsven's world record score in Grand Prix Freestyle with an 89.50% mark. Shortly after, they broke their own record with a score of 90.75% at the 2009 FEI European Jumping and Dressage Championships. In the fourth leg of the FEI World Cup Dressage series, they extended their record in the GP Freestyle to 92.30%, winning that season’s FEI World Cup.

Upon seeing Moorlands Totilas is action, people are amazing by this relatively young dressage horse’s brilliance and talent. "He is capable of such power and balance while he's in motion that it is almost beyond what most other horses can do."

Dressage Moorlands

At the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010, Moorlands Totilas and Edward Gal became triple gold medalists, becoming the first horse and rider partnership ever to sweep the three available gold medals at a single FEI World Games.

In October of 2010, it was announced that sport horse breeder Paul Schockemöhle had purchased Moorlands Totilas. The sale price was not disclosed, but rumors have circulated that the price was in the range of €9.5 million to as high as €15 million. At the World Equestrian Games, Edward Gal strongly denied that the horse was for sale, but his owners stated that after his wins at the WEG, "we could no longer ignore the interest in the stallion." Though the official press release stated the Gal "understood" the Vissers' decision, other news sources quoted him as stating, ""I'm absolutely devastated...It's like I'm struck by lightning."

The news sent considerable shockwaves thought the dressage community, with the Dutch national dressage team expressing intense disappointment that their Olympic hopes had been shattered with the horse being sold to an individual from the nation that is their closest rival, Germany. Dutch team trainer Janssen described the sale as "a huge blood-letting" for the team, expressing concerns that the horse will perform for Germany in the 2012 Olympics." quotes a heartbroken Edward Gal as saying "From the first moment I rode him I knew he was an once-in-a-lifetime horse. Of course there was continuous interest in him, but I never expected it to go this quickly. I understand Moorland's decision, but I'm sad." My first reaction is to feel awful for Edward, and I am frustrated that, from what I have seen, neither the seller nor the buyer talked about Totilas' welfare in their public statements.

“Make no mistake: this was all about the money. From the sellers not being able to turn down such large sums of money to the buyer making calculations about how high and how many stud fees he can generate, there was a lot of math involved in this decision. While we may never know how much Totilas was sold for, this reminds me of the famous blockbuster racehorse sales, many of which do not work out well financially for the new owners. Totilas is such an outlier that he is unlikely to produce a horse as good as himself and if his first few groups of foals are not sensational then his breeding stock will fall considerably. This also reminds me of what Bruce says about breeding--it's all about the mare. Unfortunately, the real losers here are the many dressage fans and aspiring young riders who will not get to see Totilas and Gal break any more records.” – Eventing Nation

Edward on Totilas: "Totilas is a very special horse. He has an incredible amount of talent; it’s simply a pleasure to ride him. Totilas is everything a rider could want!"

Moorlands Totilas is known as the World Record breaking and most hyped dressage horse in history. He is a horse with tremendous talent, brilliance, and mind. A horse like him only comes once in a lifetime. There will never be another like him.

Horse News More In This Category:  Dressage      Horse News More From This Author:  Chris Antley Memorial
No Walkin Farms9  
Great article. Very informative. I learned a lot. And the video is amazing. That horse is awesome. There will definitely never be another horse like Moorlands Totilas.
  Jan 10, 2011  •  5,142 views
Wow, he's beautiful, and an amazing mover! It would be awesome to be able to ride a horse like that...(and to be actually able to RIDE like that! xD)
  Jan 10, 2011  •  5,137 views
He definitely is amazing!! Hope I would be able to actually own a such a wonderful horse like that :) The music that was chosen fits in with his paces very well and I love his canter.
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,171 views
I saw this video a couple of months ago and absolutely fell in love with this horse! He is awesome!!
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,219 views
Breezing Hill  
I'm not at all thrilled about Gal's training methods and how he got to where he is. But the accomplishments are amazing. But yet again, it proves going through that training will put you on top. Its a shame the horse has no choice. As for being sold to Paul, well hopefully all he does to that horse is just breed him. I'd hate for him to get his hands on him.
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,321 views
Oh My Gosh! I think I'm in love..... He's the horse super star of the dressage world! I can't belive he sold for $13.7 million!!!!!
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,135 views
I rememver seeing him on T.V, He's beautiful!
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,176 views
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Great article. He's an amazing horse. Does things so effortlessly that it looks like he's walking on air.
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,141 views
Castaway Wish  
I don't know, I still gotta say Proton is my fav Dressage horse.
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,154 views
I love this horse so much, it's sickening.
  Jan 11, 2011  •  5,141 views
i love this horse! he truly is amazing amazing! i heard about him in a magazine and from then on ive loved him :)
  Jan 16, 2011  •  5,167 views
I love Totilas - He's a beauty!
  Feb 2, 2011  •  5,138 views
Little Bitty Farm  
Great article!
  May 9, 2011  •  5,314 views
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