Catherine Bateson-Chandler & Nartan Highest Score So Far

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Catherine Bateson-Chandler and Nartan in Florida, their first competition since the 2010 World Equestrian Games. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 8–Catherine Bateson-Chandler showed off a fitter, stronger Nartan to capture a convincing victory on Saturday and their highest score ever in the Grand Prix at the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge I national competition in the first outing since the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky three months ago.

“I really feel like he’s my horse now,” said Catherine after scoring 72.766 per cent in the kickoff to the intensive Florida winter circuit that includes 15 competitions including five CDIs, three of them World Cup qualifiers, to the end of April.

Jane Forbes Clark bought the 16-year-old KWPN gelding from Jeannette Haazen of the Netherlands last spring as a WEG prospect. Catherine, based in Wellington, Florida, won a place on the U.S. team and finished 17th in the Grand Prix.

Nartan, Catherine said, has been on an program to become stronger and fitter that includes a lot of time working in open spaces–a jumper field at Jane’s training center–and following a nutrition regimen Catherine developed over many years working for six-time Olympian Robert Dover and in the years since she became the primary dressage rider for Jane Clark.

The primary goal, she said, is to qualify in the three available qualifying competitions in Palm Beach for the World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany. If successful, she wants to stay in Europe to fulfill her main goal of competing at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen. Germany, a competition where she took care of Robert Dover’s mounts for several years but has never competed herself.

Plus, she said, Aachen was home to Nartan when competed by Jeannette as the show grounds were just 20 minutes from her training facility in Belgium