By Leslie Potter
Friday, January 15, 2010
If you follow the international equestrian scene at all, or if you read the news here on HorseChannel, then you are no doubt familiar with Dutch dressage rider Edward Gal and his remarkable mount, Moorlands Totilas. The pair made headlines in 2009 by setting a new world record in Grand Prix dressage with a score of 89.4 at the Exquis Dressage Masters in Hickstead, England. Then they broke their own world record with a 90.7 at the FEI European Championships. Then they broke it again with a 92.3% at London's Olympia horse show.
Like anyone who receives any amount of notoriety, particularly in the, ahem, opinionated world of equestrian sport, Gal and Totilas are the source of some controversy. One German magazine described them as a circus act thanks to Totilas' flashy, high-stepping action. Others question the record-breaking scores. After all, dressage is a subjective sport, so records are not as cut and dry as they are in racing, for example. Love them or hate them, the pair is bringing publicity and excitement to the seemingly aloof world of international dressage. Maybe a celebrity is just what dressage needs to bring new blood into the sport. New riders need something to aspire to, right?
And just because your horse is small, stiff as a board and has NO hind end doesn't mean you can't ride a test like Edward Gal.
Anyone else think this looks like it would be an incredible workout? I can see it now. The latest fitness craze coming to a gym near you: Horseless Dressage!
Related: Men Doing Dressage
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