Wilsons Auctioneers, the company tasked with selling Uthopia to the highest bidder later this month, has said they have been “inundated with enquiries”.
Aidan Larkin of Wilsons Auctioneers, which specialises in resolving contested ownership cases, told H&H: “The minute Uthopia’s sale was public knowledge, we were inundated with interest from the UK, from France, from Holland — from all regions.”
Having competed around the globe, the sale of the 15-year-old stallion by Metall has attracted attention from all quarters.
The auction will take place on 27 May in Northern Ireland, but Uthopia will remain at Carl Hester’s yard up to and during the sale.
“There will be a live auction at head office, but the horse will not be moved for it as the last thing we’d want to do is upset him,” said Aidan.
“There will be phone and online bidding for him; there will be images and video of him on Powerpoint.”
He added that there was “no need to be over the top about it”.
“It’s our job to achieve true market value on an open and fair platform, impartially. And for a worldwide horse with worldwide bloodlines there’s also a huge worldwide marketing campaign for him.”
There is no guide price for the Olympic team gold medal-winning horse, who has also been successful under Charlotte Dujardin.
“It’s simply that he goes to the highest bidder,” Aidan confirmed to H&H. “What he’s worth to one person may be very different to what he’s worth to someone else.”
So will the identity of the horse’s new owner be revealed after the auction?
“The final sale price will be there for the world to see, but the new owner may not wish to reveal themselves,” said Aidan. “And the horse may or may not be moved from Carl’s place, where he has been very well looked after for so long.
“Staying with Carl would be a lovely outcome, but it’s an open sale and we are instructed to get market price.
“We completely appreciate the sensitivities at play here — and the horse world is a very tight-knit community — and maybe it will be possible for him to reside at his current home, but that is dependent on the identity and intention of the new owner.”
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However, Carl stated on 30 April that he has “hopefully arranged enough money through owners to keep Uthopia’s future secure”.
All eyes will be on the online auction on 27 May.