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Letters toWT Appreciation Letters to WT:

Dear Everyone at Warmbloods Today: Thank you so much for your donation. It really helped. Sorry for the type-written letter. Lefty is getting to be good friends with the delete button—you don’t want to see my handwriting! I just wanted you to know I appreciate the help you’ve given me. It helped not only with the ludicrous bills, but emotionally it helped a lot to know people really care. Thank you again. Courtney King Dye

(Editor’s note: We ran a promotion for one month in 2010 and donated $2.00 from every new subscription towards Courtney’s medical relief fund. She suffered a terrible fall from a horse and was in a coma for weeks. Courtney is an Olympic rider who competed on the U.S. dressage team at the Beijing Olympics.)

It was very nice to finally meet you [Liz Cornell] in person at the WEG in Kentucky. Thank you so much again for conducting the live personal interview with Matthias Rath at our booth on October 1st. [Matthias was on the German dressage team and was recently selected to take over the ride of Totilas.] It drew a nice crowd, although nobody knew at this time that he would soon be the new rider for Totilas! I guess if that had already been officially known at the WEG, we would have needed the National Guard to help us with crowd control.

I personally had the privilege to watch Totilas twice in 2010, once in Aachen, and then again at the WEG. The horse is amazing, and Edward Gal has done a wonderful job in training him. I can understand that people are upset that Totilas was taken away from Edward, but it is not like Paul Schockemoehle crossed the border into Holland in the middle of the night and stole Totilas out of a barn. He made a proper business deal with Moreland, and I think that Moreland made a very rational decision by selling the stallion at his peak. As we all know—one wrong step and the show career can be over for good with a dressage horse of that caliber.

On the other hand, Paul Schockemoehle is a horseman and a clever businessman through and through. His stud is known to have some of the best stallions in the world, and adding Totilas to his collection makes sense. Being the business man he is, he sold the rights to ride the stallion to Matthias Rath’s parents. As we all learned in the interview you

12 January/February 2011


conducted with Matthias, he is a very serious young man who does not take everything for granted. His family has been giving generously to good causes for many years, especially to Unicef, a foundation that helps children in need. Matthias’ step-grandmother Lieselotte Linsenhoff was a world-class dressage rider and a role model for many young people in post-war Germany, me being one of them. Her daughter Ann Kathrin, who is Matthias’ step-mother, did equally well until an illness prevented her from competing. Looking ahead I hope that the audiences and the judges will give Matthias Rath a fair chance on this outstanding horse. The choice to let Matthias ride this horse was, at least from a psychological point of view, a good one, because he is a true amateur, plus he is very young, and so I hope that he will not be too scrutinized should he make small mistakes in his first public appearance at a show with Totilas. He is under a lot of pressure, and I am not sure I would want to be in his shoes! As devastating as it is for riders like Edward Gal,

top horses are often sold and get new riders, and it happens even more frequently with jumpers. I personally would have loved to see more of the Totilas/Gal partnership, but I hope in the interest of our sport and especially in the interest of this fantastic horse, that the new relationship proves very harmonious and successful. Susanne Lauda, Baden-Württemberg Breed Registry

(Editor’s note: Interviewing Matthias at the WEG was an absolute pleasure. Although young, he was professional, humble and courteous, and he even spoke very good English! We send nothing but good wishes to Matthias and his new partner, Totilas, as they together continue to make dressage history.)

At the WEG just after the live interview: (L to R) Matthias Rath, Liz Cornell, and Susanne Lauda of the Baden-Württemberg Breed Registry. Photo courtesy Angelika Gruber


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