The rumour mill is in overdrive about the future of Britain’s top dressage horses following team gold at the London 2012 Games.
With multi-million pound offers believed to be pouring in for Uthopia and Valegro – it’s understood other offers were rebuffed before the Games to keep the horses with their British riders for London – both could soon be leaving Britain.
“I presume the plan will still go ahead and he will be sold,” said Carl – who has a stake in the horse who is owned by Irish former eventer Sasha Stewart – to H&H at Greenwich. “But I’d rather dwell on the fact that the people who own these horses decided to keep them for the Olympics.”
Valegro, whom Carl also part-owns, with Roly Luard, is on the market for a rumoured £6m.
Mrs Luard told H&H: “It is not in my nature to sell horses, but we are not all able to hang on to very expensive horses.”
She said the money would be reinvested into the sport and she hoped to attract further owners into syndicates, so Britain’s best horses do not have to be sold on in the future.
Carl and Charlotte have sold their top rides before. Carl sold Escapado, also part-owned by Mrs Luard, in 2005. “Peanut” recently returned to his yard in retirement.
And Charlotte sold her first grand prix partner, Fernandez, in September last year, to enable her to buy a house with her fiancé.
The 11-year old chestnut Westphalian went to Norwegian team rider Cathrine Rasmussen.
Contrary to some reports, Mistral Hojris is not on the market and Laura hasn’t dismissed another championship for 17-year-old “Alf”.
“He’ll have a big, well-earned holiday and chill out, and when I pick him up again it’s really up to him,” Laura told H&H. “We’ll keep going until I get the feeling he’s done enough.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound’s Olympic souvenir issue (16 August, 2012)