By now, you’re probably familiar with Valegro’s results with rider Charlotte Dujardin in the sport of dressage on the world stage. Individual and team gold at the 2012 Olympics—Great Britain’s first-ever medals in the sport. Individual gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France and at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. World record scores at the grand prix level. Multiple European championships. FEI World Cup champion in 2014 and 2015. And those are just the highlights.
In the video above, fans of Valegro (known around the barn as Blueberry) and those who worked directly with the horse during his career share their thoughts about him.
“One of the greatest creatures God ever created.”
– Alastair Stewart OBE, News Reader, ITV News
“Now that Blueberry’s retired it’s going to be quite strange. He’s my best friend. Not going to shows with him on the truck is going to be really strange. It’s going to make me cry!”
– Alan Davies, Groom
“To watch the rise of somebody like Charlotte and Valegro coming from the bottom to the top has given all of us huge pleasure, and it’s going to be an unforgettable partnership. It’s something that will be historic and we will remember it for hundreds of years to come.”
– Carl Hester MBE
“What Charlotte and Valegro have done is demonstrate the skill of showmanship, of performance, but of teamwork as well. And between them, they have transformed dressage…I have cried watching Valegro, but I will smile at the memory of what he has done for the sport of dressage and for sport in general.”
– Clare Balding, Sports Broadcaster
“He’s gone beyond my dreams of what I’ve wanted to achieve. Not only have I achieved them, but I’ve got the best friend in the whole world. Going to all of those shows and not having him with us, that’s the hard thing…Wherever you go, you’ve always got him, and he always makes whatever [bad day] a good day, because that is the horse he is.”
– Charlotte Dujardin
Blueberry will spend his retirement at his longtime home at Carl Hester’s stable, although Hester hinted to Horse and Hound that the horse may still make some public appearances, and that Hester himself might take up Blueberry’s reins again for the first time since the earliest days of his career.
Whatever Blueberry does in the coming years, we wish him a long and happy retirement.
Leslie Potter is a writer and photographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. www.lesliepotterphoto.com