I have been privileged to video Valegro three times at Hartpury. Once in 2015 when I raced back cross country from my niece's wedding in Suffolk and twice in 2016 as part of the team's pre-Rio warm up. Who can forgot that atmosphere soaked evening when we were all treated to what was going to be a Gold Medal winning routine in the Hartpury Arena.
I wanted my tribute video to be steeped in sentimentality and I knew I wanted the gravelly American Recordings gospel voice of Johnny Cash as the backing track; I tried "One" but the lyric didn't work. I then found Unchained and decided to work with that. The imagery of Valegro being unchained, after all he has done for us, was so powerful.
Yes I am sure there have been times he has felt weak; there will have been times when he has been vain; but now we can take the weight of expectation from him and his spirit can be unchained.
Thank you for everything Blueberry and enjoy your well deserved retirement.
There will be two versions of The Unchained Tribute.
The connoisseur Johnny Cash version which will not play on mobile devices due to copyright reasons.
For the mobile version the media rights were against me so I sought out a different version of the song and was delighted to find this version by the song's original writer Jude Johnstone (I had to slow it down a little to match the timings of the Johnny Cash version but don't tell anyone!) . I'm sure some will prefer the softer feel of this version - the mobile version was released to the world during #equinehour on Sunday 4th December.