As a matter of fact it was already clear to everyone yesterday after Matthias Rath’s cautious answer to the question if Totilas would be competed in the special that the much anticipated pair would not be seen again at the European Championships.
However, now it has been officially confirmed by chef d’équipe Klaus Roeser: ” We want to take the opportunity to announce that we – in this case Matthias Rath, the national coach, the chef d’équipe, and the team veterinarian– have decided not to compete Totilas again after a video analysis yesterday evening. From our point of view it didn’t show, but yes: Totilas showed irregular movement of his left hind leg. The team veterinarian has examined Totilas and there is no external damage. The leg is neither thick nor warm, it doesn’t feel out of the ordinary. However, for the benefit of the horse we decided to withdraw Totilas from the competition.”
To the question if they had chosen the horse for the team for only the Grand Prix and if it had been clear before that Totilas wouldn’t get through three competitions, Roeser answered: “One could think that, yes. And our stated aim was to win gold, for which one needs pairs over 80 percent. Totilas has shown good performances in Hagen and there was no reason not to take him with us.” Totilas also had been good in the training camp. “It wasn’t the case that we couldn’t say with clear conscience that he will attend,” the chairman of the discipline committee added. “Every horse has a problem. I don’t know any horse that doesn’t. We nominated the horse together and also stand by our decision.”
Roeser answered the question why none of the parties involved said something after a clear irregularity of movement could be seen during the warm up with: “I can only speak for myself – I didn’t see the warm up. I wanted to see the British and Dutch. I thought it very exciting. Matthias also didn’t say he felt something that felt wrong. I can’t reproach him for that. Every rider feels different and has individual mechanisms. It’s a special situation to participate in such a competition always thinking about the team.”
Roeser did not want to give a prognosis for Rio: “We can’t think that far ahead yet. We still have three competitors to compete here and will focus on them. We still stand a good chance to receive a successful result here in Aachen.”
Roeser also could not tell much about the vet check, in which Totilas already was an issue with the judges and veterinarians: “I don’t know what has been discussed there. I was on the other side of the vet check team, Totilas was between us. However, in the vet check there only exists accepted, Holding Box or not accepted. And Totilas was accepted.”
If there are going to be changes concerning nominations in the future will be discussed after the European Championships. Roeser emphasized the topic is to be discussed in detail: “Due to this experience we will think of a new way to deal with it. For now I can’t tell how exactly this new way will look.”