‘They still know how to own the arena’: watch Valegro and Uthopia strutting their stuff in retirement

  • Valegro and Uthopia are without a doubt two of the most-loved dressage horses of all time. The Olympic and European gold medallists, now aged 21 and 22 respectively, are living the dream retirement with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin – but once in a while, they like to prove that they still have that star quality.

    Charlotte has released a video from 2022 of her and Carl, riding Valegro and Uthopia at home in Gloucestershire, simultaneously performing a line of 18 one-time changes, and it’s pretty impressive.

    “Just before I was pregnant, Carl and I [had] some fun on these two stars, who even now, know how to own the arena,” said Charlotte.

    Indeed, both Valegro (Blueberry) and Uthopia (Uti) look to relish the opportunity to remind us all just why they have earned their status as legends of the dressage world.

    Blueberry, of course, took the dressage world by storm, winning back-t0-back individual Olympic golds with Charlotte Dujardin in 2012 and 2016, smashing world records left, right and centre along the way.

    Uti and Carl were also on the Olympic gold medal-winning British team in 2012, as well as winning team gold and double individual silver the year before, at the 2011 European Championships in Rotterdam.

    Super-groom Alan Davies – who will take a step back from his full-time job with Carl and Charlotte this year – has ridden Blueberry and Uti on a regular basis throughout their retirement to date, keeping them fit and enjoying life with plenty of hacking.

    “They’re amazing to hack, they really are. Valegro is like a police horse. I love riding him so much, and he loves it,” Alan told H&H. “He loves going out round the roads or the fields, chatting to the neighbours, chatting to the cows on the next farm and anyone can ride him.

    “Uthopia is still quite bouncy, so you do have to have your wits about you. He can get quite excited and likes to do some piaffe and passage sometimes, but he’s not spooky and he is a joy to hack too. They’re both good in traffic and they both still feel amazing. They’re a great joy to look after.”

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