Born in 2002, Valegro is the dressage wonderhorse who, with his rider Charlotte Dujardin, has wowed the world, winning title after title and setting new records in all three types of grand prix. He retired from competition after retaining individual Olympic gold at the Rio 2016 Games.
A dark bay KPWN gelding standing at 16.2hh, his successes include individual and team gold in the 2012 Olympics; individual gold in the 2016 Olympics; the grand prix and grand prix special gold medals at the 2013 and 2015 European Championships; and individual gold at the World Equestrian Games in 2014. At Olympia 2014, he beat his own world record to achieve the highest-ever recorded grand prix freestyle dressage score: 93.4%.
Valegro belongs to Carl Hester, Roly Luard and Anne Barrott. He has lived at Carl Hester’s yard in Gloucestershire since he was a two-year-old. Valegro is by Negro, out of Malifleur (by Gershwin). Carl’s protégée Charlotte Dujardin was given the ride on Valegro as a young horse to bring him on for Carl to ride, but their partnership proved too strong to dissolve. Despite being asked to name their price after the 2012 Olympics, Carl and Roly decided that they wanted to ensure the horse’s future was secure and Valegro is expected to remain at Carl’s for the rest of his days.
Although he has now retired from competition, Valegro remains in work and will continue to entertain his fans with special appearances. His official retirement ceremony took place at Olympia 2016, where he produced an outstanding performance of his London 2012 freestyle to a packed house, proving that he was bowing out at the very top of his game.
Famously, Carl believes that horses should be allowed to be horses, so Valegro has always received regular turnout, and enjoys being hacked out. Valegro’s stable name is Blueberry and his groom is Alan Davies. According to Carl, Valegro’s biggest love is grass. Whilst in competition fitness, he regularly enjoyed a work out on the water treadmill at Hartpury’s Equine Therapy Centre as part of his routine care.