Charles Tota of The Dressage Connection Delivers Konigs With Color, Style, and Fit
Boots are a key element in any dressage rider’s wardrobe, whether they are for schooling, showing, or showing off. Charles Tota of The Dressage Connection is the top custom Konig dealer in the US, and is famous for his selection of unique fitting Konig boots that have quickly become the favorite riding boot of Wellington’s dressage crowd and riders throughout the United States. The Konigs at The Dressage Connection are uniquely cut, fit to order and completely customizable. The wide selection of colors, leathers, piping, and details like Swarovski crystals are sure to delight dressage riders with imagination and an eye for fashion.
Tota has been a fitter and distributor of Konigs for over 20 years and was trained in Germany by Anja Konig. Five years ago, he and Konig collaborated on the development of a boot that is now manufactured exclusively for Tota. This unique model features specific alterations to enhance the rider’s comfort as well as the boot’s aesthetics. A lower cut on the back of the boot eliminates the normal ‘break in’ discomfort for the rider and allows Tota to measure for a much taller boot. The counterseam, which runs around the bottom part of the boot, is lowered to prevent rubbing on the ankle and creates a more tapered look. This model Konig is only available through The Dressage Connection.
The Konigs also feature a nearly unlimited number of combinations and customizations. The leather can be any color, from blue to purple to tan, and in a multitude of styles including ostrich, snakeskin, crocodile, and patent. “A few of our riders really go crazy with the colors and styles,” said Tota. “There is very little we can’t do. Whether you’re looking for elegant patent leather show boots with Swarovski details or blue snakeskin with laces, we will create a boot that is as comfortable to ride in as it is beautiful to look at.”
Tota’s unique Konigs have not gone unnoticed by dressage riders, including some of the most prominent and successful international competitors in the country. “I have ridden in nearly all of the boot brands in the US and overseas, and Konig is by far the best quality,” said international dressage rider Oded Shimoni. “Charlie is the best fitter and measurer, and all of his boots fit like a glove.” Grand Prix rider Tuny Page had a set of aging Konigs and was finally prevailed upon by Tota to purchase a pair of his. “Charlie’s Konigs were the perfect stiffness, cut, and had the look I wanted,” said Page. “I liked them so much that I told him to order me another pair, exactly the same but in a different color. They are for me the perfect combination of comfort and style.” Melissa Taylor, another international competitor and trainer, stated, “The last pair of Konigs I ordered from Charlie were ostrich with lacing up the front and they are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever put my foot into. They fit like a glove and have held up through hard riding. I also have show boots in black patent leather with crystal detail, which fit perfectly and look great in the show ring.”
International dressage rider and trainer Todd Flettrich also discovered the versatility of Tota’s Konigs, saying, “I love the colors, the fit, and how they look great but hold up well under heavy riding. I am very hard on boots, but my Konigs are extremely durable. The styles and colors are fantastic; I have blue, brown, and black for schooling and showing.” The list of world-class competitors who prefer The Dressage Connection’s Konigs goes on. “Konigs are simply superior in quality, and with Charlie’s fitting expertise you end up with a boot that look and feel great. The ability to order pretty much any color or style you want makes them all the more attractive,” says Cesar Parra. Katherine Bateson also states her preference, saying, “Charlie has an incredible selection of Konig boots that can fit into almost any budget. For quite simple to as extravagant as you’d like, all of Charlie’s boots fit perfectly.” Nancy Later, yet another Grand Prix rider and competitor, credits her Konigs as an integral part of her business. “Konig is a great boot, well made and beautiful. I buy mine from Charlie because he can measure more accurately than anyone I have ever bought boots from in the United States or in Europe. I live in my boots ten hours a day so durability, comfort, and beauty are a must.”
The Dressage Connection, in addition to supplying the most versatile and unique Konigs on the market, also has a full boot repair center in house. They specialize in boot restoration and repair, including zipper installation on new boots as well as replacements, all fitting issues, cut downs, new soles, heels, dyes and shines. “We do it all on any brand, even those we don’t sell,” said Tota. “Bring us your boot problems and we will fix them.”
“The Dressage Connection is the premier supplier of dressage equipment in the United States,” said Olympian Robert Dover. “When it comes to boots and equipment, no one is better than Charlie at what he does. His equipment makes the difference. The Dressage Connection also gives back to the entire dressage community through the Equestrian Aid Foundation and other charities, and that is why I use The Dressage Connection beyond the fact that all the merchandise is top of the line.” The Dressage Connection also carries custom saddles by Evolution, Hennig, Schleese, Passier, and Windsor. Their riding attire is by Animo Italia, Pikeur, Anky, Kentucky, Couture Hippique, and Grand Prix. “We have an extensive line that includes fashions from Italy that you won’t find anywhere else,” Tota said. “Stop by our store at 3500 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 10 in Wellington, or visit our mobile store at a dressage show. You can also shop online from anywhere in the world.”
For more information on The Dressage Connection, visit their website at www.TheDressageConnection.com
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The Dressage Connection
Photo: Charles Tota of The Dressage Connection is the top custom Konig dealer in the US, and is famous for his selection of unique fitting Konig boots that have quickly become the favorite riding boot of Wellington’s dressage crowd and riders throughout the United States. (Photo courtesy of JRPR—no photo credit necessary)