Wilsons Auctions, the company responsible for the auction of the Olympic gold medal-winning horse Uthopia (Metall x Inspekteur) in Northern Ireland last month, has confirmed that the sale process has now finished.
The auction house’s statement reads: “Further to our auction on 27 May, we can confirm that the sale of Uthopia has now been completed.”
This quashes rumours that the horse’s ownership was in a state of limbo, because he had not been paid for.
The statement continues: “The highest bidder on the night and new owner of Uthopia, does not wish to be identified at this time.
“We wish Uthopia and his new owner all the very best for the future. Uthopia has resided at his usual stable yard throughout this entire process.”
Although the statement gives little away, Wilsons have confirmed to Horse & Hound that the purchaser was the same person as the highest bidder on the night and that the sum paid was £165,000 — the price at which the hammer went down.
The horse remains at Carl Hester’s yard at present.
Uthopia was sold by Tom Keenan (Keenan Corporate Finance) and James Neill (HNH Group), who held joint ownership of the horse by virtue of their respective roles as trustee in bankruptcy over two separate bankruptcy estates — Sasha Stewart and her father Derek Harrison.
The stallion’s ownership had been the subject of a long-running legal dispute, which had been rumbling on since the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Carl Hester rode “Uti” to team gold and fifth place individually in the freestyle with 82.85% in Greenwich.
More recently, he has been competed by Carl’s protégée Charlotte Dujardin, claiming the fourth spot at the World Cup finals in Amsterdam in January, where they scored 82.37%.
However, he has not made a competitive appearance since and H&H understands that Carl Hester’s team have been working hard to keep the 15-year-old stallion sound.