Last December the14th, the horse TOTILAS died in a veterinary clinic in Germany, due to a severe colic syndrome for which he had been hospitalized and subjected to surgery.
The news of his disappearance spread around the world and the reasons for so much uproar are all due to the fame of which he was a victim in spite of not wanting to be.
Totilas was in fact the third most expensive horse in the world of all time. After having competed for the first time at the age of 5, in 2010 he was sold for 11 million 200 thousand euros.
In 2012 he began to have repeated physical problems and in 2015 he was officially withdrawn from competitions because he suffered from a very painful periostitis, a severe chronic inflammatory disease that affects the bones of the limbs and which is often due to excessive physical activity.
From 2015 until his death Totilas was a breeding stallion: perpetually isolated in the box, without the possibility of socializing with other horses or of moving freely, but just alone. Three sperm samples per week were taken for a few months of the year, tubes which were sold by weight of gold. The international association PETA had moved to denounce that this detention system was in violation of the German law on animal welfare. The same PETA that in 2012 denounced the coach and rider Matthias Rath, current co-owner, for the excessive use of the rollkur (hyperflexion of the neck) during horse training.
Totilas had been a DRESSAGE champion, considered the elite sport among all equestrian disciplines, practiced and frequented by important or presumed people, an expression of the upper middle class, if not even of aristocracy, which looks down on the others disciplines and in particular racecourse races.
In dressage (which translated and adapted from French is "training"), the horse must perform precise figures and movements in a rectangle. It is a real test of obedience, because the movements must be perfect, harmonious, and at the three gaits. Each figure performed receives votes from 1 to 10. In high-level competitions, especially freestyle (KUR), even the choice of music is voted, so much so that at the Olympics the soundtracks are sometimes composed specifically for the single performance costing thousands of euros.
That world today is saddened by the loss of its status symbol, of this black stallion who made many dream and earn, at the expense of a life made from isolation, training and competitions and where he could never be a horse.