Carl Hester has confirmed he is currently seeking backers to help him secure the future of his London 2012 ride, Uthopia.

The news broke earlier today that the 15-year-old black stallion by Metall is to be sold at public auction on 27 May with no reserve as part of bankruptcy proceedings.

Uthopia is being sold by Tom Keenan (Keenan Corporate Finance) and James Neill (HNH Group) who hold joint ownership of the horse by virtue of their respective roles as trustee in bankruptcy over two separate bankruptcy estates — Sasha Stewart and her father Derek Harrison. The sale will take place via Wilsons Auctions.

In a statement Carl confirmed that he no longer has any claim to part ownership of the horse. The horse had been registered with the FEI as belonging to Carl and Sasha Stewart since September 2011.

Carl said: “It’s been a distressing experience for us all and with a very unhappy end.  ‘Uti’ has been part of the family for 11 years and is a yard favourite.

“Quite simply, I’m appalled that it’s come down to this.

“I’m already working hard to find backers to help me buy him and give him the very best care in retirement he deserves.

“I owe him so much and my immediate concern is for the horse’s welfare. I just want him home to spend the rest of his days at our yard, cared for by those who adore him.”

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Uthopia was found by Daniella Van Tuijl for Carl as a four-year-old. Bred by Jan Van Zettens in Gelderland, the young stallion was then owned by Ivonne Lawrence, who had ridden him to seventh place in the prestigious young horse championship, the Pavo Cup.

He initially competed in some young horse classes with Sasha Stewart and Carl, then competed up to elementary with Matt Frost, who was riding for Carl at the time, before taking a break from competition to be trained up to grand prix.

Uti returned to competition with Carl in 2009 at prix st georges — and earned Carl his first ever 10. He won 12 of his first 13 starts, including his 2010 grand prix debut.

With Carl riding, he won a total of five championship medals including Olympic team gold at London 2012 and two individual silvers at the 2011 European Championships.