The incomparable Valegro will officially retire on December 14 at the London Olympia Horse Show. We’ve all known this day was coming, as Carl Hester and rider Charlotte Dujardin have been very transparent about their plans for the horse’s future, but that doesn’t make the reality of it easier.
In the course of Valegro and Charlotte’s career, they’ve won three Olympic gold medals and repeatedly broken their own records. Just a glance at Valegro’s FEI record shows the clear impact he’s had on the sport, simultaneously raising the competitive bar and attracting new fans to the art of dressage.
“I think what Charlotte and Valegro have done is demonstrate the skill of showmanship and performance but of teamwork as well,” says broadcaster Clare Balding. “Between them they have transformed dressage not just for the UK audience but I think around the world. I have cried watching Valegro in full flow, but I will smile at the memory of what he has done for the sport of dressage and for the sport in general.”
Here at EN we’re big fans of the 14-year-old Dutch dressage powerhouse and his rider Charlotte Dujardin. Videos of “Blueberry” and Charlotte’s remarkably high scoring dressage rides and compelling musical freestyles are common among our daily video archives, but you’ll want to grab a tissue for this one. Valegro is not a horse we will soon forget.
“To watch the rise of somebody like Charlotte and Valegro coming from the bottom to the top has given all of us huge pleasure,” Carl Hester said. “It’s going to be an unforgettable partnership and something that will be historic and we will remember it for hundreds of years to come.”