Edward Gal with Totilas
|Representing the Netherlands|
|2012 London||Team dressage|
|2010 Lexington||Team dressage|
|2010 Lexington||Special dressage|
|2010 Lexington||Freestyle dressage|
|2006 Aachen||Team dressage|
|2014 Normandy||Team dressage|
|2009 Windsor||Team dressage|
|2009 Windsor||Freestyle dressage|
|2015 Aachen||Team dressage|
|2005 Hagen||Team dressage|
|2009 Windsor||Special dressage|
|2013 Herning||Team dressage|
|2011 Rotterdam||Team dressage|
|2010 Den Bosch||Individual dressage|
|2004 Düsseldorf||Individual dressage|
|2005 Las Vegas||Individual dressage|
|2015 Las Vegas||Individual dressage|
|2014 Lyon||Individual dressage|
Edward Gal (born 4 March 1970 in Rheden) is a Dutch dressage rider. He and the stallion Totilas (nicknamed "Toto"), were triple gold medalists at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games, becoming the first horse-rider partnership ever to sweep the three available dressage gold medals at a single FEI World Games. Going into the 2010 Games, they had amassed multiple world-record scores in international competition, leading one American journalist to call them "rock stars in the horse world". After the World Equestrian Games, Totilas was sold to German trainer Paul Schockemöhle. Gal continues to be successful training and competing dressage horses at the international level.
Gal began his equestrian career as a jumper at age 14, beginning with ponies and graduating to larger horses at age 20. However, when he discovered his horse did not like jumping, he switched to dressage. While enjoying solid success in national and international competition, he did not become a truly dominant rider until he began competing with Totilas in 2008. Gal would later say that he and his team understood that Totilas was a special horse after their first Grand Prix competition.
At the time, Gal replaced his countrywoman Anky van Grunsven as the dominant rider on the world dressage circuit. In July 2009, Gal and Totilas broke van Grunsven's world record score in Grand Prix Freestyle with an 89.50% mark at Hickstead, England, and shortly thereafter followed it up with another record score of 90.75% in the same discipline at that year's European Championships. In December 2009, at the fourth leg of the 2009–10 FEI World Cup Dressage series at Olympia in London, they extended their record in GP Freestyle to 92.30%, more than 10 points above the second-place finisher. While not setting a world record, they easily won that season's FEI World Cup final in GP Freestyle at home in the Netherlands, winning by more than 7 points with a score better than their first world record. The pair also had a world-record score in the Grand Prix Special discipline to their credit, having recorded 86.460% at Aachen in July 2010.
Gal and Totilas were installed as the overwhelming favorites in the 2010 FEI World Games in Lexington, Kentucky, their first competition outside Europe. Klaus Röser, head of the German dressage team that has long dominated the discipline, said about Gal, "That we can beat Edward; I don't think so, I don't believe so. We have to be realistic." Röser's assessment proved correct, with Gal and Toto first leading the Dutch team to gold in the team competition, and then easily winning gold in Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle.
In a piece in The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky that ran before the 2010 Games, dressage trainer Susan Posner pointed out that Totilas was only in his second year in grand prix dressage despite being 10 years old, and said that his success illustrated how capable Gal was as a rider.
He also competed at the 2015 European Dressage Championships in Aachen where he won a gold medal in team dressage. The Dutch national dressage coach Wim Ernes died on 1 November 2016 due to a brain tumor. Gal, together with the other gold medal winners Patrick van der Meer, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Diederik van Silfhout, carried his coffin during the funeral on 5 November 2016.
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