Later that year, [Charlotte] Dujardin devised a new freestyle for Valegro. She made the floor plan as difficult as she could imagine, opening with a half-pass in trot that moved into a half-pass in passage, followed by a combined piaffe and pirouette and straight into another phase of passage. She rode an extended canter into a double pirouette, and set the test to music from “How to Train Your Dragon.” Dujardin and Valegro performed the routine for the first time at the Olympia horse show, in London, that December. Together, they broke the last of Totilas’s world records. “I literally did the final bit with tears rolling down my face, because he is the sort of horse that gives you everything,” Dujardin said. “He gives you everything, and I can feel the partnership and the connection. He is, like, with me.”
- Sam Knight, “The Duo That Dominates Dressage”
What are the bonds that exist between man and animal; the closeness and kinship that exist across species – between a human and a pet, animals worked with in labor and sport? In The Companion Species Manifesto, Donna Haraway speaks of the relationships between man and animal as a relationship of significant otherness: “They are here to live with. Partners in the crime of human evolution.” Valegro explores these kinships and how humans and animals live with and use each other, how we cope with the world together at the intersection of empathy and projection.
Featuring work by Benjamin Ashlock, Beatriz Balanta & Mary Walling Blackburn, John Hiltunen, Sarah McMenimen, John Russell and Jess Smith.
Curated by Jackie Im, Co-founder and Director of Et al. and Et al. etc., San Francisco.