Former German team rider Matthias Rath swept the board in the small tour division at the 2017 CDI Valencia in Spain with Foundation and Sir Picardi. After the retirement of Totilas, the 32-year old rider has not been seen in the Grand Prix ring since August 2015. Rath disclosed to Eurodressage that his ambitions for top level sport have not waned.
Matthias is betting on the 9-year old Hanoverian licensed stallion Foundation (by Fidertanz x De Vito) as his first horse to take him back to Grand Prix. The bay stallion won all small tour classes during the two weeks of competition in Valencia he was entered in with mid seventy percentage scores.
"Foundation is developing really well," said Matthias. "I will hopefully be back at Grand Prix soon."
For a moment it seemed that the 11-year old Danish warmblood gelding Samba King (by Sandro King x Lancet) would be Matthias' ticket to Grand Prix. The 2014 Nurnberger Burgpokal winner made the transition to the medium tour in 2016 but was last competed at the CDI Jerez de le Frontera in Spain in February 2016. The bay gelding is owned by Matthias' parents-in-law, the Eisenmann family, and was originally intended as their daughter Franziska's ride.
"Samba King is doing well, but my parents-in-law want to sell him after my wife got our second child last year and is still not riding at the moment," Matthias explained. Matthias and his wife Franziska have two children, Constantin (born 2014)
Matthias' other Grand Prix hopefull was supposed to be the now 11-year old Dutch warmblood stallion Bretton Woods (by Johnson x De Niro), but the tall black licensed stallion has not been shown since his small tour campaign in 2014 with their last show being the 2014 CDIO Aachen.
"First we wanted to take time that he learns everything for the Grand Prix," Matthias explained. "Then we had everything ready for it, but he injured himself. Now he is fine again, but we will take it slowly and don't have any concrete plans so far."
While Bretton Woods slowly gets back in full work, he'll also be focusing on his stud duties at Gestut Schafhof in Kronberg, Germany.
Photos © LL-foto - Astrid Appels
Rath and Samba King Win 2014 Nurnberger Burgpokal Finals
Samba King Sold to Eisenmann Family
Rath Returns to the Show Ring with Bretton Woods
Rath Secures National Title with Totilas at 2011 German Championships in Balve
Matthias Alexander Rath Wins 2006 Piaff Forderpreis
Totilas Completely Retired from Public Presentations