Arguably the greatest dressage partnership of our time, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro danced for the final time last night under the spotlight at the Olympia International Horse Show for Valegro’s retirement ceremony.
What is there to be said about Valegro that hasn’t already been stated a thousand times or displayed on the international dressage stage for all to see? His partnership with Charlotte Dujardin is a true fairy tale, a lucky combination of circumstances that became pure magic and elevated the sport of dressage to its highest levels, raising the standards of horsemanship for all equestrians.
Team Valegro — that is, part-owner Carl Hester, rider Charlotte Dujardin and groom Allen Davies among others — has always made it clear that the horse’s needs were the top priority. With nothing left to prove to the world, the decision was made to retire Valegro at the peak of his game, to let him gracefully waltz into retirement on his own terms. It’s not truly the end of his performance days — he’ll still appear at demos and exhibitions, but his competition days are over.
Last evening at the Olympia International Horse Show, Valegro formally retired before a packed crowd who came to see the final dance.
Go Valegro. Go riding.