He has 10 gold medals to his name and yesterday Valegro added another huge honour to the list — meeting the Queen.
With Olympic partner Charlotte Dujardin on board, and owner Carl Hester alongside, Valegro was introduced to the Queen on Thursday morning at Royal Windsor Horse Show.
“Valegro manages to make everything very emotional as he always does, especially the way he looked at her and just didn’t move,” Carl told H&H.
“The Queen was absolutely delightful, very chatty and pleasant. She’s very informed and she knows Valegro and loves him. She was very complimentary about him and asked what he was doing now in retirement.
“Charlotte said she was very welcome to have him to hack around the park, but she said she was quite comfortable on her Fell pony, thank you.”
The 17-year-old Negro gelding, winner of 10 championship gold medals and two World Cup titles during his glittering career under Charlotte, behaved impeccably throughout the meeting, which took place in the private grassy avenue near the Frogmore arena on the edge of the showground.
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
We’ve rewound the clock to remember those early days of this treasured British institution, which was due to run this
“It was quite awesome to see the Range Rover coming towards us, and as it got closer, to realise that The Queen was actually driving it herself,” added Carl.
“She just makes everybody feel very relaxed and has a real love for the horses.
“Afterwards, Charlotte and I said, ‘What else has that got horse got left to do now — he’s won 10 gold medals, and now he’s met the Queen!’ This was the icing on the cake for Valegro.
“We have to remember that we still have a horse in dressage who is a massive personality; he is still making the sport popular and memorable, and the fact that we had the honour to do this today shows how much power he still has. And he was just so amazingly calm, but that’s his party piece — this is what he does wherever he goes.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday