Public pledges to help buy Uthopia for Carl Hester

  • A GoFundMe page has been set up and calls made to form a consortium to buy Uthopia when he is sold next month.

    Hundreds of people have pledged their support for Carl Hester, offering to donate funds, and calling for other buyers to boycott the sale.

    H&H reported yesterday (28 April) that the 15-year-old Olympic 2012 gold medal-winner will be sold at auction with no reserve, on 27 May.

    The Go FundMe page entitled “Keep Uthopia home with Carl Hester!” set up by Stefanie Reinhold in Wisconsin, America, had reached 745 US dollars (£510) by this morning.

    Ms Reinhold wrote: “We are setting a signal and raising awareness. Your help will make a difference — even as a supportive gesture.

    “This effort is to raise money to purchase the horse at auction and help keep him home at Carl Hester’s barn, where he can receive the care he needs and have a dignified retirement. Please give what you can. Every bit helps.”

    She added that Carl has not commented on the campaign, and that if it needs to be stopped “all donations will be refunded”.

    On Facebook, Danielle Barney wrote: “Why don’t you ask everybody to donate something? I’m sure you will raise a large amount as both you and Uti have a very large fan base. I would donate a fee so he can live his days out with you.”

    April Dickson was among those to agree, writing: “I would happily donate something. He deserves to be with people that love and care for him.”

    Others have warned that the GoFundMe page has no mention of the site’s or PayPal’s fees, and that it may not raise enough money to buy Uthopia, as well as the fact it has not been backed by Carl.

    Calls have also been made for other potential buyers to avoid the sale, allowing Carl to buy the horse for a nominal sum.

    The rider has made no comment on the campaign, but he said yesterday: “I’m already working hard to find backers to help me buy him and give him the very best care in retirement he deserves.”

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    On his Facebook page yesterday, Carl wrote: “We are working hard to find a solution so he can spend his retirement here at home.

    Thanks to everyone who has shown their support, it is really appreciated.”

    Sue Paine wrote on Facebook: “This is desperately sad. He should be saved for the nation by an anonymous philanthropist and signed over to Carl for the rest of his natural life.”

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