Nartan, Katherine Bateson-Chandler’s USA World Equestrian Games Mount, Retires
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
GLADSTONE, New Jersey, June 13–Nartan, the horse that Katherine-Bateson-Chandler rode at the 2010 World Equestrian Games to seure a team place for the United States at next month’s Olympic Games, has been retired from competition.
The 17-year-old KWPN gelding (Jazz x Tanja x Le Faquin) will not compete the second weekend of the U.S. trials to select a team of three and one individual for the Games at London’s Greenwich Park.
Nartan was bought for Katherine to compete at the WEG in Kentucky by Jane Forbes Clark, who is also president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation that is headquartered at this century-old facility where the horse performed in the show ring for the last time the first of two weekends of trials.
“He will go into a field and be cared for like a king every day for the rest of his life,” Katherine said of the retirement farm at Sharon Station in upstate New York where Jane has about 15 horses in retirement.
“It is lovely to know that he will be so well cared for.
“We won’t be so happy. We’ll miss him. I’ll go to see him as often as I can.
“I will cry. He will not.”
Equally sad about his retirement is her husband, Carl, who she said, “there is no doubt he is Nartan’s daddy. He’s as close to the horse as I am. He has done so much and has been so involved.”
Nartan, at about 18 hands (183cm), was trained and competed by the petite Jeanette Haazen of The Netherlands.
When she began riding Nartan in May, 2010, Katherine described the horse as “one of the most beautifully and correctly trained horses I have ever ridden!”
Another big attraction was the close relationship between Jeanette and Nartan.
“I have that with my horses, and I knew I could build that with him. He knows his people and that’s important to me.”
Three months later at this same venue, Katherine and Nartan won a place on the WEG team with Steffen Peters and Ravel, Tina Konyot and Calecto V and Todd Flettrich and Otto.
Katherine, 36, is a British-born naturalized American who worked for several years for Robert Dover when he rode for Jane Clark then took over as the rider of her dressage horses when Robert retired.
In the two years since the WEG, Katherine competed Nartan sparingly to maintain fitness but insure he stayed healthy as he grew older. She competed in a single CDI in 2011, in Florida in winter, and two CDIs on Florida’s winter circuit this year, including the World Dressage Masters that was his last international performance.
“He was the first horse I have taken into the international competition world,” she said. “He’s just an incredible personality, a special person.”
The partnership with Nartan, she said, “made my career” and was no longer known as a groom.
“This validated that I could compete on an international stage and be credible. I felt I could ride in the warmup arena and stay up with the best of them. That gave me confidence.
Katherine leaves for England later this month with Alcazar, previously named Alonzo and owned by Jane Clark, to work with her longtime coach, Carl Hester, and support her friends at the Olympics.