Uthopia’s Retirement Near Some Other Partners In Carl Hester’s Career Highlights

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Carl Hester on Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro with Olympic team gold medals at London. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester on Uthopia and Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro with Olympic team gold medals at London. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

June 29, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Now Uthopia’s retirement with Carl Hester has been secured by an anonymous donor, the 2012 Olympic team gold medal mount is the latest among his other horses in career highlights of the past decade or so that he has found homes to spend their senior years.

Uthopia, a KWPN stallion now 15 years old, was ridden by Carl to team gold and a pair of individual silvers at the 2011 European Championships then a year later was on Great Britain’s team that won gold alongside stablemate Valegro ridden by Charlotte Dujardin at the 2012 Olympics. It was Britain’s first ever medal in dressage on the 100th anniversary of the equestrian sport in the Olympics. Carl rode Uthopia again with Valegro and Charlotte to team bronze at the 2013 Europeans.

On his 49th birthday Wednesday, Carl told dressage-news.com that Uthopia will continue breeding duties.

Carl’s other former mounts that have been farmed out to friends to take care of in their retirement are:

–Escapado, the Oldenburg gelding now 23 years old that Carl competed at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2005. Hans Peter Minderhoud of the Netherlands took over the ride to compete successfully on both sides of the Atlantic until the horse’s retirement from Big Tour in 2009.

Carl Hester on Escapado at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Carl Hester on Escapado at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

–Liebling II that Anna Louise Ross rode for Great Britain at the 2007 European Championships. Carl took over the competition reins in in 2008, won team silver at the European Championships in Windsor, England in 2009 then team silver at the World Games in Kentucky a year later. Canada’s Cheryl Meisner competed the horse in Europe for a few months in 2010 in an unsuccessful effort to qualify for the World Games and Yvonne Losos de Muñiz of the Dominican Republic made a similar effort to seek a start at the 2012 Olympics but was thwarted by controversial decision to accept a rider from Brazil qualifying with results from five-judge panels that included three Brazilians. The Netherlands’ Jonna Schelstraete competed the horse at CDIs for his final show year in 2013. The Holsteiner gelding is now 19 years old.

Carl Hester on Liebling II at the 2009 European Championships © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester on Liebling II at the 2009 European Championships © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

–Pro-Set began his CDI career with Carl in 2007 then Great Britain’s Maria Eilberg competed the KWPN stallion throughout 2009 before the horse moved to Lillann Jebsen of Norway the next year. With Lillann, Pro-Set went to the World Games in Kentucky in 2010 and again at Normandy in 2014 as well the European Championships in both 2011 and 2013 and the World Cup Final also in 2013. Pro-Set retired after the 2014 World Games and is now 19 years old.

Carl Hester and Dances With Wolves. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Carl Hester and Dances With Wolves. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

–Dances With Wolves that Carl competed at Small Tour then Grand Prix over about 2 1/2 years but the big horses didn’t like show atmosphere so his competition career came to an end in 2014 though the Oldenburg gelding is still ridden at the age of 14.