Dressage superstar Valegro’s one-legged brother has sold for £2,000 at auction as his fellow hobby horses rake in more funds for charity.
Valegro II, described as the “exciting FEI pony prospect” attracted 66 bids in Dressage Anywhere’s online auction raising funds for the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal.
A Dressage Anywhere spokesman said new owner Tracy had signed up to the NHS volunteer responder programme but had wondered what else she could do to help the health service.
“Tracy had watched Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro twice at Olympia in the freestyle and fell in love with him,” said the spokesman.
Tracy, who did not start riding until she was in her early 30s and rides at medium level on her current horse, said: “Carl Hester thought Valegro II had international potential. I have a spare stable and lots of grass so I felt this might be my chance to compete in tails before I hit 50 this year”.
The spokesman added that contributions from the dressage community had not stopped there, thanks to the idea of using hobby horses to replace riding during lockdown restrictions, which was thought up by Dressage Anywhere’s Nereide Goodman.
“At first I thought Nereide had lost the plot but thinking about it further we thought the idea might have legs or in this case a leg,” said business partner Ruth Chappell.
“We start giggling about all the things we could do, the tests we could run and the judges we could enlist and that set the tone of the competition. We had a platform in place to run it all online, so ‘Ride a Hobby Horse for the NHS’ was launched.
Ruth said they are “absolutely thrilled” and grateful so many from the equestrian world entered into the spirit of the event, as well as raising a further £2,000 for the charity.
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Entry is open to all, with 80% of the entry fee going to NHS Charities Together
‘Valegro II, according to Carl Hester, has all the attributes to make a top international prospect’
“Grand prix judge Stephen Clark was able to give many high marks throughout but did comment that some of the lateral work was rather wooden and lacking suppleness,” she said.
Other judges included Jennie Loriston-Clarke, who judged the freestyle, won by top rider Alice Oppenheimer and her one-legged partner Legless. Para rider Natasha Baker judged the RDA class, while the Pony Club tests were judged by Alice Oppenheimer and Becky Moody.
Dressage Anywhere’s hobby horse competitions have concluded with the organisation’s monthly online dressage competitions back up and running now that advice on riding during lockdown has been eased.
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