Rumour Control: Valegro and Uthopia Not Sold to Saudi Arabia
The internet is aflutter with the rumour that Carl Hester's Valegro and Uthopia have been sold to a member of the royal family in Saudi Arabia. Carl Hester fully denied this news nor the horses being sold at the moment.
The rumour sprang up when on 12 September British magazine The London Evening Standard posted an interview with Charlotte Dujardin in which she states that the sale of Valegro "was 'heart-wrenching'," using the verb to be in the past tense. However, a few paragraphs later the paper quotes Charlotte again saying "but as tough as it is going to be" in talking about a future sale.
The paper itself speculates that a Saudi bought the horses by publishing that "The horses have attracted a record price tag of £20 million — with an Arabian royal rumoured to be first in line to buy."
Eurodressage checked in with Carl Hester, the co-owner and trainer/rider of both, who said that the horses have not been sold and certainly not to a Saudi. "That's the best yet (rumour)," Carl told Eurodressage. When told that the news was printed in The London Standard, Carl joked "that confirms I will not read another newspaper again!"
The grapevine has also been buzzing with the rumour that Spanish Olympic team rider Morgan Barbançon is a serious candidate to buy Valegro.
Carl reposted that there is "Not an Arab or Spanish in sight."
Photo © Astrid Appels