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December 19, 2012

Hester And Uthopia Take Final Competition Ride At Olympia

Carl Hester and Uthopia earned team gold at the London Olympics, but they are taking a hiatus from competition until a legal dispute concerning Uthopia’s ownership is settled. Photo by Kat Netzler.

Carl Hester and Uthopia have completed their last competition together as of Dec. 18. According to EuroDressage, a bank placed an injunction on Uthopia, who won team gold at the Olympic Games in London with Hester, as part of a bankruptcy dispute with owner Sasha Stewart.

Hester made his final ride count with a third-placed freestyle finish at the CDI-W Olympia (Great Britain) on Dec. 18. Hester will not enter the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Metall—Odelia, Inspekteur) in more competitions.

“Uthopia is not sold, just under the injunction I can’t compete abroad,” Hester told Eurodressage. “[I want to take] no more risks and that’s it until he’s sold.”

Stewart filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and creditors are still attempting to collect through Uthopia. In August, questions arose over who currently owns Uthopia.

According to the Fédération Equestre Internationale database, Sasha Stewart, an Irish eventer, and her father, Derek Harrison, owned the stallion until March 31, 2001. From April 1, 2001, through Sept. 13, 2011, Hester is listed as the sole owner. From then on, Hester and Stewart are both listed as owners.

However, Hester’s lawyer told Horse & Hound in August that Stewart no longer owns any portion of the horse.

Since the conclusion of the London Olympics, Hester has stated that the black stallion and Valegro, Charlotte Dujardin’s ride for the team and individual gold, are for sale. Dujardin recently announced she hopes to gather a syndicate to purchase Valegro so that she can continue to compete him.

 
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