Uthopia the horse that took Carl Hester to Olympic and European gold is to be sold at auction.
The 15-year-old dark bay stallion has been the subject of lengthy legal wranglings regarding his ownership.
An official statement released by British Dressage today confirmed that Carl ‘no longer has any claim to part ownership of the horse’.
His rider has been left reeling by the news that the horse is to be sold and he now hopes to find backers to help buy him.
“It’s been a distressing experience for us all with a very unhappy end ” said Carl. “‘Uti’ has been part of the family for 11 years and is a yard favourite. 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.”
Uthopia was originally registered with the FEI as being owned by Irish eventer Sasha Stewart and her father Derek Harrison who were declared bankrupt in 2010.
Carl was listed as the sole owner of the horse for a period of 16 months in 2010/2011 and then the co-owner from September 2011.
The ongoing legal case surrounding the ownership has now come to an end and the horse will be sold at auction with no reserve price.
Uthopia has been put up for auction by Tom Keenan (Keenan Corporate Finance) and James Neill (HNH Group) who hold joint ownership of the horse by virtue of their respective roles as Trustee in Bankruptcy.
The horse will be sold by Wilsons Auctions as part of their Prestige Auction on Friday 27 May.
Uthopia was found by Carl as a four-year-old. Together they won a total of five Championship medals including Olympic team gold in 2012 and two individual silvers at the 2011 European Championships.
Since 2013 he has been competed by Carl’s protoge Charlotte Dujardin most recently at the Amsterdam leg of the FEI World Cup series in January.