Uthopia, Britain’s Olympic Gold Medal Horse, To Be Sold At Auction

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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

April 28, 2016

Uthopia, the 2012 Olympic horse ridden by Carl Hester to a team gold medal for Great Britain, will be sold at auction on Friday, May 27.

The KWPN stallion, now 15 years old, will be sold to the highest bidder with no reserve price, Wilsons Auctions reported Thursday, as part of a court-ordered sale of assets of Sasha Stewart, who had owned the horse along with Carl.

At the 2011 European Championships, Carol rode Uthopia to team gold with a first place finish in the Grand Prix and also won two individual silver medals. The pair were members of the “80 per cent club” as one of only a handful of combinations to score 80 per cent or better at Grand Prix in the history of the sport.

Carl Hester told dressage-news.com announcement of the auction was “terrible news.”

“My court costs have been so high I will have to rely on friends,” to bid for Uthopia that he has kept in full board and training throughout the lengthy bankruptcy proceedings.

A statement by British Dressage, said “the ongoing legal case surrounding the ownership of the horse Uthopia has now come to an end and it is with great sadness that Carl Hester can announce that he no longer has any claim to part ownership of the horse.”

Carl was quoted as saying: “It’s been a distressing experience for us all and with a very unhappy end. ‘Uti’ has been part of the family for 11 years and is a yard favorite. Quite simply, I’m appalled that it’s come down to this.

“I’m already working hard to find backers to help me buy him and give him the very best care in retirement he deserves. I owe him so much and my immediate concern is for the horse’s welfare. I just want him home to spend the rest of his days at our yard, cared for by those who adore him.”

Wilsons Auctions said it recognized the “importance of maintaining the level of expert care and attention that the horse has previously enjoyed” and will remain with Carl at least until the auction.

“It is of course possible that he may continue to reside at his current stable yard after the sale has concluded, dependent of course on the identity and intentions of the purchaser,” it said.

Uthopia (Metall x Inspekteur), found by Carl as a four-year-old, has been has been competed by Carl and Charlotte Dujardin at only 11 different shows in Britain and the Continent in the four years since the 2012 Olympics, including the 2013 European Championships in Herning, Denmark where Carl and Uthopia earned team bronze.

The last show was at the Amsterdam World Cup event at the end of January this year where Charlotte rode Uthopia to a score of 76.240 per cent in the Grand Prix and 82.375 per cent in the Freestyle.

“Wilsons Auctions have been instructed to sell by public auction, to the highest bidder, the former Olympic Champion Horse Uthopia, as part of their Unreserved Prestige Auction on Friday 27th May,” the auction house said in a statement.

“Online bidding will be available and further details will be released in due course.”

Uthopia is being sold by Tom Keenan of Keenan Corporate Finance and and James Neill of HNH Group who hold joint ownership of the horse as Trustees in Bankruptcy over two separate estates.

Interested bidders are asked to register by email to uthopia@wilsonsauctions.com.

“Alongside Uthopia, the auction will also include a selection of supercars, prestige jewelery, watches designer goods and more,” said the statement by the auction house that is the largest independent auction company in the British Isles and Ireland.