The best dressage horse of all time, Moorlands Totilas, has been sold to German former showjumper turned top European breeder Paul Schockemohle.
The Netherland's Edward Gal took three gold medals with the 10-year-old stallion at the World Equestrian Games, Kentucky, just two weeks ago.
In America, Edward strongly denied rumours that the horse had been sold, saying: "I've heard those rumour too, they're not true, nothing is going on."
However, today Cees Visser of Moorlands Stables confirmed the horse was being sold.
Cees said: "The past two years have been a whirlwind of excitement for us, and we've enjoyed watching Edward and Totilas again and again. After Kentucky, however, we could no longer ignore the interest in the stallion. Therefore, the time came to discuss matters with one another, and we decided to let Moorlands Totilas go."
Totilas has broken every world record score for a grand prix, special and freestyle in his past year at the level with Edward.
Cees added: "Of course, it's not easy for Edward. Thanks to his talent and effort, Totilas has become the phenomenon he is today.
"Fortunately, Edward understands our decision to take a new path, and new challenges lie ahead. We consider Edward a top rider, and we'll keep supplying him with potential top horses in the coming years."
Originally, the horse was not to be used as a breeding stallion, but after his double gold at Windsor Europeans last August his owners did make frozen semen available to selected mare owners for a record 5,000 Euro. Just last month, an embryo by Totilas sold for 32,000 Euro.
Jan and Anna Schuil of Broeksterwoude, Friesland, bred Totilas and gave him his basic training. When the horse was five they contacted Edward Gal and asked him to ride and compete Totilas.
Edward's sponsors Cees and Tosca stepped in and bought the horse at this stage, maintaining for a long time that he would not be sold.
Photo: Edward Gal riding Moorlands Totilas by Diana DeRosa