On 25 January 2023 Edward Gal has made his come back to the public eye since his sabbatical from competition sport after the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
At the "Top of Dressage" exhibition show during the CDI-W Amsterdam, Gal returned to the spotlight and premiered a new Grand Prix horse, Gladiator.
Gladiator is a 12-year old Dutch warmblood by Totilas out of Milleke (by Havidoff). He is bred by Stal Zegwaard.
Stephanie de Frel
The bay gelding was trained from young horse level to small tour by Stephanie de Frel.
In 2017 they were Dutch Champions at "ZZ-Licht" level and in July 2019 they made their CDI debut in Hickstead. It was their only international as a duo.
On the FEI passport, Gladiator was listed as owned by Stephanie de Frel. However, in 2019 it was changed to VMF stables, run by Ronald Lammerink and Liesbeth van Oosten and where De Frel is head rider.
Two and a half years ago, Gladiator moved into training with Dutch Geert-Jan Raateland.
In 2020 he competed him at small tour level. They were finalists in the 2020 Dutch Small Tour Championships and made their debut CDI in Sint-Truiden in August 2020.
Gladiator did not compete internationally in 2021, but returned to the CDI ring in Lier in March 2022 at Grand Prix level. They scored 69.631% in their first international Grand Prix test. A month later at the CDI Sint-Truiden they posted 65.413% in the Grand Prix and were seventh in the freestyle.
The pair continued to gain mileage at national Grand Prix level with scores over seventy in the summer of 2022. Raateland also trains and competes the 16-year old Chardonnay (by Westpoint x Wellington) and the 10-year old Iwan (by Johnson x Florencio) for VMF stables.
In the winter of 2022 Gladiator's owners decided to put the horse in training with Edward Gal.
In April 2022 Gal had announced his sabbatical from competition sport and his top Grand Prix horses Total U.S. and Toto Jr were not seen in the arena since then, not even under a different stable rider. At the 2023 CDI-W Amsterdam, Gal was seen in the saddle of a horse for the first time, not on a Glock horse but on Gladiator.
Even though Gal's barn is well stocked with horses owned by gun mogul Gaston Glock, the Dutch Olympian has been accepting horses in training from outside clients, including sales horses such as Indigro who sold to the U.K.
Photos © Astrid Appels - Digishots
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KWPN Stallion Indigro in Training with Edward Gal