Valegro “Loving” Retirement at Home Four Years On, Reports Alan Davies
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Sept. 15, 2020
ALAN DAVIES, known as Super Groom as the longtime caregiver of Carl Hester’s horses, provides an update on Valegro, now 18 years old and four years on from retirement after a career in which the KWPN gelding ridden by Charlotte Dujardin collected Olympic, world and European gold medals and posted record scores at all three Grand Prix divisions that still stand.
Blueberry is loving his retirement, he has settled into a more relaxed way of life , with more time in the paddock , next to his old friend Uthopia (ridden by Carl as team mates of Charlotte and Valegro on the historic British gold medal team in London in 2012).
They both know they are still superstars in my eyes. I always feed them first in the morning, or there is a lot of shouting going on.
Blueberry still watches me all the time, his eyes follow me around the yard, keeping a check on what I am doing.
And he always looks longingly at me when I drive the truck out of the gates with the other horses.
If I get to take him to a demo or celebrity appearance he literally canters up the ramp and loads himself.
I don’t think he misses the pressure of constantly performing under the spotlight but he certainly misses all the attention.
He relishes days when we have public demos at home and people flock to his stable for a selfie!
But also he loves to go for a trail ride with me. We wander around the fields at home or the lanes around us. I chat away to him about old times and what’s going on now.
And I know he listens to every word while watching what’s going on in the countryside around us.
And he loves to stop for a chat with the neighbors and the locals who all still recognize him.
He doesn’t feel his 18 years and it’s my favorite part of the day when I get to groom him and tack him up and take him for a ride.