Last Updated on January 24, 2022
There can’t be many horse lovers around the world who haven’t heard of the magnificent Valegro! This top-level dressage horse has amazed us all with his awe-inspiring displays of movement and balance. But how much is a horse like Valegro worth?
How Much Is An Olympic Horse Worth?
Many of us dream of owning an Olympic medal-winning horse! We hear stories of horses purchased for very little money that goes on to win medals. But what is the value of a horse once it has won this prestigious prize?
Well, there is no straightforward answer to this question! The value of a horse will depend on several factors.
The first of these is whether the horse has a useful athletic life ahead of it. If a horse is young and free from injury, it will have a higher value than one that is older and near to retirement.
The other factor that affects a horse’s value is whether it has any breeding potential. A neutered male horse, also known as a gelding, cannot breed any foals. This means that, no matter how talented it is, these talents cannot be passed on to any offspring.
A mare will be able to breed one foal every year, so a medal-winning mare will have a higher value than a gelding. She will be able to pass on her genes to several foals over her lifetime when her athletic career has ended.
The highest value for breeding potential is a stallion. This is an entire male horse, and he can sire many foals every year. In fact, if semen is collected and frozen, it can be used to inseminate mares even after the stallion has died!
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How Much Is A Horse Like Valegro Worth?
For those who haven’t heard of him, Valegro is one of the best dressage horses of the modern-day. He rose to fame in 2012 when he won both the team and individual gold medals at the Olympics, smashing many world records along the way. From here he continued to win medals at many World-class events, before his retirement in 2016.
Valegro was so well-loved by this time that his retirement performance at the Olympia London International Horse Show was televised live on TV. This spellbinding display was watched by millions, and you can watch it for yourself right here!
So, we know that Valegro has now retired from international competition, but how much is this horse worth?
It is estimated that Valegro is worth an incredible $7.7 million – so far beyond the reach of most people! And as his owners say that Valegro would never be sold, it seems we will never find out how much someone would be prepared to pay for him.
Is Valegro A Stallion Or A Gelding?
Valegro is a gelding – this is a male horse that has been neutered. His athletic potential was not spotted when he was a young horse. This meant that he was castrated, like the vast majority of male horses.
If Valegro had not been gelded, it is likely that his value would be far higher. A top-level stallion can command high stud fees, giving its owner considerable earning potential.
However, if Valegro had not been castrated he may not have gone on to become a world-record-breaking dressage horse! Competing at this level requires intense concentration and a level-headed nature. An entire male horse might not have had the mental capacity for the intricate movements that Valegro is capable of.
Why Is Valegro Worth So Much Money?
Valegro has such a high value because of his past achievements. So, although he is now retired from competition, he is worth over seven million dollars due to his medal record. He not only won the vast majority of international dressage competitions but also broke many world records along the way.
During his career, Valegro won 56 of the 67 FEI dressage competitions in which he participated. He won ten international gold medals, including three Olympic gold medals. He also broke many world records, most notably in 2014 when he scored 93.4% in the freestyle event at Olympia, breaking his own record.
Since his retirement, Valegro continues to enjoy life, going for regular hacks and taking part in lessons. It is reported that his favorite thing is grass, and he is turned out to graze daily. His owners also arrange charity work, such as meet-and-greet sessions with sick and disadvantaged children.
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Does Charlotte Dujardin Own Valegro?
Charlotte Dujardin rode Valegro to victory in many major competitions, but is she his owner?
Valegro was bought in 2005 by the dressage rider and trainer Carl Hester. He paid just $5,700 for Valegro, who was described as a horse with “the head of a duchess and the bottom of a cook”! However, this little horse soon started to exceed all expectations and won the Badminton Young Dressage Horse Of The Year competition in 2006.
In 2007, Charlotte Dujardin was paired with Valegro. She was working as a groom on Carl Hester’s yard, and it soon became apparent that this was a match made in heaven. In 2011 they won their first international title.
Charlotte Dujardin continue to ride and train Valegro until his retirement, but she was not his owner. Throughout this time he continued to be owned by Carl Hester, in partnership with Rowena Luard and Anne Barrott.
To this day, ownership of Valegro has not changed, and his owners have expressed no interest in selling him. He continues to live out his retirement at Carl Hester’s yard – well deserved for such a magnificent champion!
Summary – How Much Is Valegro Worth
So, as we have learned, a horse like Valegro is worth over seven million dollars. The value of a horse depends on its usefulness as either an equine athlete or for breeding purposes. A top-level stallion could be worth tens of millions of dollars and have stud fees of over $100,000 per mare.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on how much Valegro is worth! Do you dream of owning a beautiful medal-winning horse? Or maybe you know a real-life ‘rags to riches’ story? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE