Valegro's shoe, donated by Carl Hester, boosts U.S. charity

Credit : Photos by Mary Phelps,

Thursday 19 October - 17h32 | Ian Clayton and edited press release

Valegro's shoe, donated by Carl Hester, boosts U.S. charity

Horse shoes have traditionally been associated with good luck, and that was certainly the case for one Dressage group in the U.S. this past week.

At the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) Carl Hester Symposium in New Gloucester, Maine from October 14-15, a silver-plated horseshoe worn by superstar Dressage horse Valegro and donated by top rider Hester brought in $5,000 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation.

“We made nine of these shoes, which have all been donated to charity,” Hester, in town to teach developing Dressage riders, said after the auction. “Now I have to tell Charlotte [Dujardin, Valegro’s rider] the last one went to America.” In fact, Hester admitted that he had taken the silver-plated shoe from fellow champion Dujardin’s desk.

In total, organizers reported nearly $8,000 being raised for the Equestrian Aid Foundation. Other items up for auction included an original painting of Hester and his horse Nip Tuck titled, “The Master” by artist Lisa Marie Bishop autographed by Hester, as well as a signed banner photo collage of Hester, Nip Tuck, Dujardin and Valegro created by DressageDaily’s Mary Phelps.

Phelps, who organized the auction, commented afterwards: “Let’s face it, Carl is a rock star and so is Valegro. People were stalking the bidding table until the closing bell.” “Not only did I have great riders and horses to train,” Hester added, “Valegro’s shoe raised $5,000 for the Equestrian Aid Foundation.” 

Both Hester and Phelps were praised by the charity for their efforts supporting it. 

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