Thursday 15 December - 14h58 | Johanna Zilberstein (with press release)
Valegro Says Goodbye in London
It is the end of an era for Valegro, and for dressage. Charlotte Dujardin’s legendary horse retired from competition at the Olympia in London last night, where he performed his final Grand Prix Freestyle in the presence of owner Carl Hester. A look back at an evening rich in emotions for the champion mount.
Valegro’s final appearance in the Olympia rectangle in London last night marked the end of the champion horse’s amazing competitive career. The ceremony took the form of a Grand Prix Freestyle, the same routine with which he captured his first Olympic dressage title in London in 2012.
And the choice of the Olympia for Valegro’s goodbyes was not random, owner Carl Hester and rider Charlotte Dujardin having selected the spot where the son of Negro established two world records in the Freestyle in 2013 and 2014.
Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin were joined for the occasion by Carl Hester and he gelding’s groom Alan Davies, who all received a long ovation from the public.
“I have so many good memories with Valegro,” said Dujardin at the end of the ceremony. “He has won every gold medal possible, including three at the Olympic Games and two World Cup finals. It’s the horse of a lifetime and I am really going to miss competing with him. He’s just the perfect horse, with the biggest heart in the world, and he’s always given me his best.”
Carl Hester also spoke about the experience last night: “It has been such a joyous occasion,” said Hester. “I know everyone thought it would be sad, but how could anyone be sad to see Valegro go out so fit and well and happy – it’s been a happy-sad day.”
Thursday 26 January - 17h45