What do you get if you cross one Olympic gold medallist with the full sibling of another? The answer: a young horse that will almost certainly go on to great things.
Specifically in this case U-Genius, the son of Carl Hester’s London 2012 ride Uthopia (Metall x Inspekteur), whose dam is none other than Weidyfleur II — the full sister to double Olympic champion and multiple record holder Valegro (Negro x Gershwin).
“U-Genius has to be the best-bred horse in the world,” says Carl of the eight-year-old stallion, whom he owns along with breeder Claire Hester, Roly Luard and Anne Cohn.
“He’s a big, strapping black stallion — he’d make the perfect Lloyds Bank advert horse.”
U-Genius has so far been only lightly competed up to advanced medium by Amy Woodhead, former rider for Carl, but was recently showcased during the five-time Olympian’s dressage masterclass at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club.
Spectators relished this rare opportunity to see this exciting horse showing off his current stage of training with Amy, as well as his natural talent for the higher level work.
“He was a very big foal and a big young horse, so he has needed lots of time,” explains Carl, who highlights the stallion’s super work ethic and scopey, athletic canter as his biggest strengths.
U-Genius is already training the grand prix movements, with his early piaffe and passage work looking particularly promising.
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As an Anglo European Studbook (AES) approved stallion, U-Genius is combining his early competition career with breeding duties, and so far has around 20 offspring on the ground, with the oldest now being three years old.
Whether U-Genius will follow in the footsteps of his world-famous family remains to be seen, but he certainly has everything it takes to get there, from genetics to temperament. This is one young horse to keep a serious eye on.
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