Described by Charlotte as “a genius”, the 11-year old chestnut Westfalian is now owned by Norwegian team rider Cathrine Rasmussen, who is based in Kleppenhus, Denmark.
Neither Charlotte nor Cathrine would reveal how much money was exchanged for her home-produced dressage horse. But Charlotte said it would buy her a home and a youngster.
Given that she lives in Gloucestershire – currently based at Carl Hester’s yard – we might assume that he sold for a tidy sum.
“Cathrine is a fantastic lady and he will certainly never want for anything with her,” Charlotte told H&H. “After Aachen [CDI in July], Carl said she was interested and it went from there.
“I never thought I would sell him but I need to set myself up. I will still base myself here and ride for Carl.”
The Dujardins bought the Florestan x Weinberg gelding, known as “Dezzy”, as a three-year-old at a Brightwells auction for “less than £20,000”.
In 2008 he injured his stifle in the field and had two years off work, but he came back with a bang in January at Zwolle, ridden to third place on 67.81% by Carl in the horse’s first grand prix, and came second in the freestyle on 74.35%.
Then he and Charlotte scored more than 70% at Aachen and the offers started flooding in.
“It is a gamble [to sell Fernandez now]. If anything goes wrong [with Valegro] before the Olympics I will not have a second string,” acknowledged Charlotte. “I’ve done the hardest thing and that is saying good bye to my best friend. But it was a financial decision. I will buy another youngster and start the process all over again.”
This story was first published in Horse & Hound (22 September, 2011)