How much do you love Valegro? A unique bracelet containing a lock of the dual Olympic gold medal-winners’ hair has been auctioned for an impressive $12,000 (£7,726).
The bracelet is made from plaited hair from the dressage star’s tail, nine-carat yellow gold engraved with “Valegro”, and 64 diamonds.
All of the funds will go to The CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust, which was founded in 2005 by a group of friends in New Zealand, including Catriona Williams and Charlotte Gendall.
Ms Williams is a former four-star eventer who had a riding accident in 2002, which left her in a wheelchair with tetraplegia.
“Catriona travelled to Las Vegas to watch the World Cup finals (15-19 April) and like everyone else she was blown away by the stunning performance of Charlotte [Dujardin] and Blueberry,” Ms Gendall told H&H.
“She’d had lessons with Carl [Hester] back in the UK and bumped into him outside a media conference. The spontaneous response [offering the Valegro hair] was very touching and we’re incredibly grateful.”
The bracelet was made by New Zealand jewellery company The Cambridge Collection.
The owner of the company, Chele Clarkin, was also in Las Vegas.
“It has been an honour and a thrill to be able to design and make this very special piece,” said Ms Clarkin.
“When Catriona then asked if we could do something I jumped at the chance. A huge thank you to Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin for allowing us to have a little piece of their champion.
“This has been a real team effort also involving Geoff Taylor Goldsmith’s studio.
“We make a lot of horsehair bracelets and they all have a story to tell but this one is like a fairy tale.”
The auction went live on Monday (8 June) and closed on Thursday (11 June).
“The response has been fantastic and we are grateful for each and every dollar,” added Ms Gendall.
“Over the years Catriona has used her drive and determination to bring on board patrons such as Zara Phillips and Sir Mark Todd.
“We’ve had fantastic support from the New Zealand racing and equestrian communities as well.”
Ms Williams added: “I would like to say a big thank you to the equestrian and racing community who have been an enormous part of CatWalk’s 10 years.
“Anything to do with horses is high risk but the bond you develop with a horse is like no other — Blueberry and Charlotte demonstrate this in bucketloads.”