In Holland, at a very small yard, a new four-legged addition is causing waves the world over.
The first full brother to Valegro has been born at the unassuming yard of Dutch breeders Maartje and Joop Hanse — the same place Valegro was born.
On Wednesday 20 April the chestnut colt was born to Valegro’s dam Maifleur, who is now 22 years old but in fantastic health.
The bouncy youngster — who has three white socks and the same distinctive dished face as Valegro (pictured below) — has been named Lelegro.
He is the only full brother to Valegro who is a gelding and therefore cannot breed himself.
Interest in the colt has been global, but the Hanse family have a very close relationship with the Van Olsts, who have first refusal to buy him.
The Van Olsts, who bought Valegro as a foal (he was initially called Vainqueur Fleur), also own his sire, Negro.
Maifleur is “chestnut, with good movement,” say Maartje and Joop, “not dissimilar to Valegro, and the same lovely character.
“When Valegro was two no one could see that he would become so good. This is a line that needs time to develop.”
The little colt is already showing the same friendly characteristics of his famous family.
Adding to the illustrious line
Valegro already has two full sisters; Weidyfleur II and Jalegro Fleur.
Weidyfleur II, now 13 years old, is in the UK and is owned by Claire Hester. She is currently on breeding loan to Emma Blundell of Mount St John Stud and is expecting a Fürstenball foal this season via embryo transfer.
Jalegro Fleur is still owned by Maartje and Joop and is growing up in a herd with other two-year-old fillies in the Netherlands.
- ‘First I’ve heard of it’ – Carl Hester clarifies the recent Valegro retirement story
- 12 things you might not know about Valegro
- Find out why Valegro terrifies judges and how H&H helped him stay in British ownership
Why is Lelegro chestnut when Valegro is dark bay?
The chestnut gene is recessive, meaning that it can ‘hide’ in a bay or black horse.
Lelegro has inherited the chestnut gene from both his parents and neither of them have passed on the gene for a dark coat.
*Photo and research by Selene Scarsi