What’s next for dressage stars Valegro and Uthopia?

  • Efforts are continuing to form a syndicate to keep Valegro in the UK, but his Greenwich team-mate Uthopia looks set to be sold imminently.

    Valegro’s owners Carl Hester and Roly Luard announced last year that they hoped to raise £2.5million to buy 49% of the double Olympic gold medallist.

    “We have had some donations offered,” Carl told H&H last week. “We haven’t got what we set out to get, but we are still talking to people.”

    Charlotte Dujardin and “Blueberry” are not entered for any competitions as the 11-year-old Negro gelding is having an extended holiday.

    “It’s because we thought that, at some stage in his career, he should have a proper break,” Carl explained.

    “Since Olympia [where the pair set a new grand prix world record of 84.4%] he has been in light work. If we were to do anything, we would bring him back at the end of May.”

    The crowd at Olympia watched Carl and Uthopia’s final performance. An injunction, arising from a dispute over the horse’s ownership, has prevented him from travelling abroad.

    This has made it unfeasible for Carl to campaign Uti as an international grand prix horse.

    He has been concentrating on other horses including H&H cover star Dances With Wolves, who recently made a winning debut at international grand prix.

    At a recent hearing in Northern Ireland, it was agreed that the terms of the injunction could be varied — to enable the horse to be released to Carl, as a part-owner, to be sold. He is now waiting for the court to seal the agreement.

    “The case has been postponed a couple of times, but we should know fairly soon,” said Carl.

    “We always knew Uthopia would be sold — he is in full work and, hopefully, we will be able to show him to any prospective clients in the next few weeks.”

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (28 March 2013)

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