Charlotte and Valegro made their first appearance since clinching gold this summer at Greenwich, at the show last night (Monday 17 December).
The pair set a new world grand prix record in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup dressage leg supported by Horse & Hound with a score of 84.447%.
This beat their Olympic score of 83.66% and the previous world record of 84.08% — set by Edward Gal and Totilas at the European Championship at Windsor in 2009.
“He [Valegro] feels better than ever and I'm sure he's come back stronger,” said Charlotte.
“He has had a great holiday since London and had a very easy time with lots of hacking. I only picked him up to start more serious work about a month ago. However he is a hot horse and I was not sure how he would be, and on arrival he certainly felt really jolly which made me think 'oh no!', but he totally delighted me.”
German rider Isabell Werth was second with the 11-year-old Don Frederico son, Don Johnson with 76.362%.
“I didn’t see Charlotte’s test, only the score, and thought ‘wow we have to really try our best’,” said Isabell. “Don Johnson has developed a lot in the last few months even and he gave me a great Christmas present tonight.”
Edward and his Olympic ride, the Ferro gelding Glock’s Undercover, were third.
After the test, Charlotte talked of the uncertainty over the future of her and Valegro's career together.
"Every day I've got to ride this horse has been an extra bonus," she told production company LloydBell. "It would be fantastic to find a syndication to keep him, and for me to ride him, but Carl deals with that side of things."
Carl added: "Roly and I always said we'd offer a half share to anyone who wanted to help keep him in the country, and we'll give that until January. We hope people come forward and keep the ride for Charlotte. I'm sure he'll be winning gold medals for at least the next six years, its the best partnership we've ever produced.
"There was interest after the Olympics and some offers on the table, but nowhere near what we are looking. But he's been in my stables for eight years, so isn't an easy decision – but we have to work for a living and I have a stable to run."
Don't miss tonight's action at Olympia — the FEI World Cup dressage to music on BBC's red button from 7.30pm. And join us for H&H Live — an up-to-the-minute, interactive, written commentary — tonight during the grand prix freestyle from Olympia.
It would be a travesty if that pair were to be separated. Now that we have seen what Totillas has turned into -- I will cry if the same fate befalls Valegro. He adores Charlotte (and vice versa). It seems rare to see a horse perform an entire test with ears pricked and without a tail swish. This is what dressage should be -- and this pair are special.
It sounds like the sellers will sell 50% if the buyer is from England and Charlotte keeps the ride? Otherwise, it will take 100% money to buy him, right?
Anyone know the asking price? Is Valegro a gelding? How old is he?