The undisputed stars of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were a black stallion named Moorlands Totilas and his rider, Edward Gal of the Netherlands. Together they won three gold medals in dressage, thrilling fans and gathering new admirers from casual spectators at the Kentucky Horse Park.
But now the partners are splitting. The owners of Toto, as he is known, have announced his sale to a German stud farm for as much as $15 million.
Although rumors about a sale swirled during the Games, Tosca Visser and Kees Visser, the owners of Toto through Moorland Investments, confirmed recently that the Dutch Warmblood would go to German breeder Paul Schocke möhle, the owner of Performance Sales International.
Toto will continue his breeding and competition career, and could give a boost to the German dressage team at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Gal and Toto have "a unique partnership, one of absolute harmony," said Chris Stafford, host of Dressage Radio Show in Lexington, who is devoting her next show to the topic. "There is something there that has captured imaginations way beyond the horse world. That's why it's considered to be such a travesty to part them."
Stafford said the sale is awaiting Toto's clean bill of health from the vet.