Matthias Rath and Totilas Withdrawn from 2012 Olympic Contention

Thu, 07/05/2012 - 18:51
2012 Olympic Games

Matthias Rath and his Dutch warmblood stallion Totilas (by Gribaldi x Glendale) have withdrawn from German Olympic team contention. This news was announced today at the 2012 CDIO Aachen, where Rath could not compete due to personal health issues.

The 27-year old Matthias is suffering from mononucleosis (glandular fever) and has not recovered sufficiently from the disease. He recently sustained a relapse in his condition. He will not be fit to ride his horse at the Games. Also know as Pfeiffer disease, glandular fever is a debilitating illness caused by the Epstein–Barr virus.

German team doctor Dr. Manfred Giensch (Hamburg) explained that "today's analysis of his blood tests do not allow him to do physical exertion soon and a start in London would cause a severe health risk."

Normally the German dressage selection committee would travel to Kronberg on Friday 6 July for a final assessment of Rath and Totilas, before the definite nomination of the German Olympic Team could be made, but this trip has been cancelled.

"It was my big dream to compete for Germany with this unique horse and this fun, young team at the Olympic Games," said a very disappointed Rath. "It would be unresponsible  towards my own health and towards my team colleagues to be nominated in this condition."

Klaus Roeser, chair of the German selection committee, said that "it's bitter for Matthias and regrettable that we have to go to the Games without this pair. With all our heart we wish him a speedy recovery."

Photo © Astrid Appels

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