The first woman to achieve Olympic gold in Dressage, Liselott Linsenhoff is the mother of Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, who is one of the owners of Totilas and stepmother to his current rider, Matthias Alexander Rath.
Watching this, would you think that Piaff stood just shy of 16 hands? The performance, which was taped in Vienna in 1972, show the relaxation and maturity of both horse and rider (Piaff was 14 and Linsenhoff was 45 years old at the time).
The daughter of a German industrialist, Linsenhoff never feared financial insecurity if she didn’t make it to the top. It’s clear she wanted her success to be acknowledged and that brought her to the Olympics. But she wasn’t after success at any price. In 1975, after she moved to Switzerland, the German authorities instituted proceedings to recover an unpaid tax liability of 30 million German marks. Rather than subject herself to being judged on an international stage, she abandoned her plans to compete in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and retired.
What a shame that her daughter’s stepson doesn’t have the same freedom. After seeing this video, I can only imagine that he, too, thinks about how nice it would be to retire from the world stage, at least while riding Totilas:
I can’t imagine how much pressure that kid feels, he’s constantly being judged. Is it just me or does that horse never seem to go anywhere? His legs fly up but he never seems to cover any ground.
BTW- you feeling better?
Hi Shannon — I, too, have sympathy for Matthias Rath. I know what you mean about Totilas, but he is the epitome of the modern dressage horse. There is tremendous energy there and the legs are freakishly active. To some, it looks like the Big Lick and to some it looks like sheer brilliance.
Elaine Lang said:
Totilas should never have come out of the hands of Edward Gal. Mathias is a sensitve, lovely rider but I see neither the trust nor the bond between him and Totilas.
I agree. For me, it’s painful to watch Totilas and Rath. It’s just a bad match, in my opinion.
Elaine Lang said:
Totilas’s performance is lackluster and I can’t ever remember seeing him misbehave for Edward. The love between Totilas and Edward was obvious to the whole world. It was reflected in the brilliance, perfection, and SHEER JOY joy with which Totilas performed for Edward. If they don’t give the ride back to Edward, they are going to ruin the world’s greatest dressage horse ever.
Monique Van Galen Last said:
Wow what great to see Piaff. I had only seen him on pictures and it was one of the first big names from dressage that I remember from my youth. So it is so great to see him in action. German and very correct. Stays very calm and just continues with his performance even though the audience is truly right in front of him and clapping.
Thank you for posting this video.