Katherine Bateson-Chandler Takes 1st, 3rd Places in US National Intermediaire Championships’ Prix St. Georges
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GLADSTONE, New Jersey, USA, June 19–Katherine Bateson-Chandler filled the first and third places in the Prix St. Georges Friday that was the first stage of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Intermediaire I Dressage Championship.
The quality of of the performances was very high in the Prix St. Georges with six horses scoring over the 70 per cent, Bateson-Chandler riding Dea II to first place with 73.105 per cent and Rutherford to third place on 71 per cent. Jan Brons and Teutobod were second on 72.211 per cent. Both riders live in Wellington, Florida and both are foreign-born, Bateson-Chandler British and Brons Dutch, who became American citizens in recent years.
“She showed me today that she is a true international horse,” Bateson-Chandler said of the flashy chestnut mare. “She has grown up a lot and overall was more secure in the ring.”
Both horses are 11-year-old Dutch Warmbloods owned by Jane Forbes Clark, a long time supporter of U.S. Equestrian Teams and horses.
Bateson-Chandler said that after these championships she will compete both hoth horses in the Grand Prix beginning this summer in the New York/New Jersey region. “We need to get the kinks out and get them into the ring showing Grand Prix,” she said. Her goal is to seek a place on the U.S. team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
“The horses are totally opposite,” said Bateson-Chandler. “They are both big movers, but he (Rutherford) is Type A – more insecure and relies on me, and she (Dea II) just wants to go in there and show them how it is done.”
Bateson-Chandler and Brons are good friends and the success of Dea and Teutobod demonstrate how horses, like human athletes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and demeanors.
“They are two totally different animals,” said Brons. “Her test was beautiful – Katherine is a good friend and she totally deserved to win. I will just have to try to beat her tomorrow.”
Joanie Morris of the USEF reported on other aspects of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Championships.
After the Young Rider Team Test, a very familiar name took the honors in the first class of the National Young Rider Championship: Kassandra Barteau, the 2007 and 2008 defending champ, got her title defense underway on GP Raymeister.
“I made a few little mistakes,” said Barteau who is 21 this year. “I could have had some more push; I can push for more on Sunday. I will take it one day at a time, I can show him off a bit more – he’s super fancy.”
After winning two years in row with Robert Oury’s mare Gabriella, Barteau has a totally different challenge in GP Raymeister (who is owned by Ginna Frantz).
“He’s the total opposite of Gabby,” said Barteau. “But it is a good learning for me, he’s a fabulous horse. He’s a way hotter horse, but I ride a lot of different horses. I love his energy and I’m excited to learn how to ride him.”
With a score of 69.946 per cent the Maple Park, Illinois rider put in a typically polished performance in the 9-year-old stallion’s first year of FEI competition.
It wasn’t a runaway victory however, and Meagan Davis and Bentley are hot on her heels with a score of 69.211 per cent. Owned by Kelly Roetto and John Rocco, the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood had very good trot work and their test flowed well.
“He’s a phenomenal horse,” said Davis. “I could not ask for a better teacher. I’m so proud and it means a lot. It is an incredible feeling to have so much support behind me.”
Davis, from Stone Ridge, New York, only began riding Bentley this spring.
Christine Stephenson and Markant made the trip from Mission Viejo, California worth the miles, picking up third place honors after the first half of the National Championship.
The 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood has improved dramatically thanks in part to training with Olympic superstar Steffen Peters.
“I was really happy,” said Stephenson. “I started riding with Steffen and it has been fantastic. My trot work is inconsistent, he can be a little naughty on the right rein but once we get that, he will be really good.”
All three of these Young riders have their eye on the 2009 Adequan FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, which will take place July 22-26, 2009 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Lauren Knopp Prevails as Top Junior in the First Leg of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Junior Dressage Championship
Lauren Knopp and Rho Dance were rock solid in the Junior National Championships and took a convincing lead on a score of 68.378 per cent. Their test was professional and the 18-year-old rider looked very comfortable on such a big stage performing the Junior Team Test.
“I was really surprised,” said the 18-year-old Wellington rider, who recently graduated from high school. “I didn’t think I did as well as I did and when I saw my score I burst into tears. It is my first national championship and it’s amazing here. It’s a really nice experience to come here and show here.”
Riana Porter and Romax Foldager put the miles on the odometer to get to New Jersey, but with a second place finish in the first half of the Junior Championship on a score of 66.486 per cent, the trip from Santa Rosa, California is proving to be worth the effort.
Porter forgot her test, which she blames on focus, not lack thereof.
“I was focusing so much on getting my shoulder-in perfect that I forgot the circle,” said 17-year-old Porter.
The mistake happened early in the test and she bounced right back and put in a rock-solid performance after that.
The next six riders scores are separated by less than 2/10ths of a percent but the highest of them proved to be Stephanie Nowak and Coriall. She also made an error in her test – she said nerves snuck up on her.
“It must be nerves,” said Nowak, also 17, of East Greenwich, Rhode Island. “Because the only other time it happened was at North Americans last year on the first day. I have done these tests so many times. I never get nervous so it is foreign to me. But the horse was with me through the rest of the test.”
Their score of 64.865 per cent meant they claimed third place honors.
For complete scores click on RESULTS on the Front Page