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Valegro may make GB dressage team again

Two of the horses who helped secure Olympic gold in 2012 may yet make another championship appearance for Britain later this year.

Valegro and Uthopia were both destined to be sold after the London Games, but a dispute over the legal ownership of Uthopia put that sale on hold. Attempts by Valegro’s owners Roly Luard and Carl Hester to syndicate or sell him have so far come to nothing.

Last week, a carefully worded statement from the British Equestrian Federation suggested that either horse may yet be selected for the European Championships later this summer — but possibly not both, since Charlotte Dujardin now has the ride on each.

She is entered to compete not only Valegro at Rotterdam next month (19-23 June), but also Uthopia at Compiègne CDI in France (31 May-2 June).

Following her successful debut with the stallion in Saumur (2-5 May), Charlotte seems to have been handed the ride permanently, while Carl focuses on Aram Gregory’s exciting Dances With Wolves.

“If they are available for selection for championships in the future, it is great news for both British dressage and Charlotte and Valegro’s legion of fans,” said performance director Will Connell.

In a post-Olympic interview with H&H, Charlotte said she expected never to compete the now 11-year-old Valegro again. But when the gelding failed to sell by Christmas, she rode him at the FEI World Cup dressage at Olympia, setting a new world grand prix record score of 84.447%.

Roly Luard told H&H: “Valegro is in fantastic shape and we are all looking forward to Charlotte competing him again.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (30 May 2013)

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