Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas, smashed the world in the Freestyle

Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas, smashed the world in the Freestyle

On saturday night, before a packed house and with Windsor Castle standing proudly as a backdrop, the most extraordinary horse-and-rider combination ever seen in the sport of dressage, Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas, smashed the world record they established in Hickstead just a few short weeks ago when scoring 90.70% to win the Freestyle gold medal.

The excitement in the aftermath was palpable. All across the showgrounds equestrian fans, officials, supporters and competitors were saying the same thing – “this horse is something so special, we may never see another like him again”.

Grand Prix Special winners Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival had to settle for silver this time around while Anky Van Grunsven and Salinero truly rose the occasion with a vastly improved performance to take bronze. This week the bar has been raised so high however that somehow Gal's words after his opening appearance with the black stallion on Wednesday afternoon don't seem altogether fantastic any more.

Anyone who witnessed tonight's exhibition of controlled power and exuberance could see that perfection is only a short step away and that somehow 100.000% may be not be quite enough….


As the second tranche of riders got underway in front of the packed house of 8,000 spectators it was Germany's Matthias Alexander Rath and Stertaler-Unicef who set the new target with a mark of 77.85% but Britain's Emma Hindle then lifted the home fans when earning a score of 81.750% with Mistral Hojris. Yesterday's Grand Prix Special gold medallists Cornellissen and Parzival relegated her however with a test that scored 90% for artistic merit and a final score of 87.35% and with just three left to go it seemed she might be about to do the double.

But as Totilas entered the ring he brought with him that magic that has followed him everywhere over the last few months and the crowd were already electrified even before he entered the arena. With Totilas and a compilation of classical and modern music he produced a spectacular display – the extended trot so extravagant, the piaffe so elevated and the passage so graceful that it left those watching with a lump in their throats.

Van Grunsven followed with a lovely freestyle from Salinero, but there was no doubt where the gold medal was going.

1, GOLD – Moorlands Totilas (Edward Gal) 90.750%
2, SILVER – Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) 87.350%
3, BRONZE – Salinero (Anky Van Grunsven) 87.250%

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