Uthopia Stays With Carl Hester After Anonymous Buyer Acquires Olympic Gold Medal Horse

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Carl Hester and Uthopia at the 2012 Olympic Games. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester and Uthopia at the 2012 Olympic Games. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

June 28, 2016

Uthopia will stay with Carl Hester after an anonymous buyer acquired the British Olympic team gold medal horse for the rider.

Carl, through British Dressage, issued a statement confirming the arrangement after years of uncertainty culminating in a public auction that appeared to have led to the 15-year-old KWPN stallion leaving Carl’s Gloucestershire, England farm.

Uthopia went to auction exactly a month ago in the sale of “assets” of the previous owners who were bankrupt. The winning bid of £165,000/€216,864/US$241,000 was from an unknown buyer.

“Since then, negotiations have taken place and the horse has now been purchased on Carl’s behalf by a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous,” the statement said.

Carl, who will celebrate his 49th birthday Wednesday, commented; “I couldn’t have asked for a better early birthday present–this is the best news and the team are all very happy now we know ‘Uti’ is staying at home.

“It’s been a stressful time but I must thank the parties concerned in getting to this outcome, all have been professional and made it exceptionally easy. Those involved wish to remain anonymous and I hope that everyone can respect that but they have my extreme gratitude. I must also thank all the supporters of British dressage for their good wishes and encouragement, it’s meant a lot to me and my team.

“This a happy ending and will make my birthday celebrations this year extra special.”

Uthopia was ridden on the British team that also included Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin that won gold at the 2012 London Games, the first Olympic dressage medal ever for the country.

Carl began Uthopia’s Big Tour in early 2010, led Great Britain’s team to gold at the 2011 European Championships then the following year was part his Olympic history for Britain. Charlotte Dujardin, who worked for Carl, then took over the reins but Carl took back the ride for the 2013 Europeans when Charlotte competed Valegro and took the bronze medal.

Since then Uthopia was competed successfully by Charlotte but only sporadically–only five shows in more than 2 1/2 years–because of restrictions imposed in the bankruptcy proceedings.