Katherine Bateson to Compete Alcazar at Olympia, 1st American Dressage Rider in 7 Years at Iconic London Event

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Katherine Bateson-Chandler celebrating a victory with Alcazar at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Dec. 4, 2017

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Katherine Bateson-Chandler will compete Alcazar at the Olympia Christmas show, the first American rider in the iconic London event in seven years.

For Katherine it will be her first time at Olympia though in her ninth year working with Carl Hester in England which she describes as becoming “a bit of a home” that she gave up as a citizen more than a decade ago to become an American.

“It’s such an amazing show and to have the opportunity to compete there is a dream,” Katherine told dressage-news.com.

Katherine, 42 years old, is based in Wellington, Florida where she trains with Debbie McDonald.

Olympia will be her first competition on Alcazar, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding since Carl Hester borrowed the horse to ride in the British dressage championships in September, placing third in the Grand Prix and winning the freestyle to take the title. The last American to compete at Olympia was Catherine Haddad-Staller on Winyamaro who was based in Germany at the time.

Alcazar was bought by Jane Forbes Clark, a major sponsor of horse sports–dressage with Katherine, jumping with Great Britain’s Ben Maher and driving with Chester Weber–as an American team prospect. Katherine was given the ride by Jane of FBW Kennedy after the horse was competed by Robert Dover. She then bought Nartan for Katherine’s successful bid to be on the team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games that qualified the United States for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Katherine began competing Alcazar at small tour in 2013 and moved up to Grand Prix in 2015.

Since then, the pair has been on five U.S. Nations Cup teams in Europe, including the prestigious CDIO5* at Aachen, Germany in July, 2016 where Alcazar suffered a colic after the Grand Prix, requiring surgery to save his life.

Alcazar being ridden by Katherine Bateson-Chandler in the Nations Cup Grand Prix at Aachen, Germany before the horse had to be operated on for a life-threatening colic. 2016 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Alcazar was later shipped home to Wellington and by the time of the Global Dressage Festival in the winter of 2017 had fully recovered and won the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle in March.

Katherine Bateson Chandler on Alcazar leaving the arena in tears in Wellington after their first competition since the horse underwent emergency colic surgery. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“We are planning on doing Olympia and then flying home to Florida the next week,” she said.

“We have stayed an extra long time this season to get as much training in with Carl as possible and he’s been so generous to us as always. Always making us a part of the family.”

She will compete at Global with the World Equestrian Games at Tryon, North Carolina in September as the goal. But she hasn’t ruled out the prospect of seeking to fill one of the two slots allocated to North American at the World Cup final in Paris in April.

“Naturally,” she said, “it was a great mutual benefit for Carl to compete Lonzie at the British national championships. I think all three of us learned a lot and now Carl has even greater insight into what makes him tick.”

Carl has planned two visits to Wellington during Global to, she said, “keep us all on the straight and narrow.”

The lineup for Olympia:

Selten HW – Anders Dahl/Denmark
Michigan – Ulrik Moelgaard/Denmark
Quartz of Jazz – Marie Emilie Bretenoux/France
Star Wars – Bertrand Liegard/France
Richard Davison – Bubblingh/Great Britain
Don Carissimo/Gareth Hughes/Great Britain
Delatio – Emile Faurie/Great Britain
Rubins Nite/Hayley Watson-Greaves/Great Britain
Rubin Al Asad – Lara Butler/Great Britain
Vancouver K – Judy Reynolds/Ireland
Glock’s Zonik – Edward Gal/Netherlands
Thriller – Katja Gevers/Netherlands
Cennin – Madeleine Witte-Vrees/Netherlands
Delaunay OLD – Patrik Kittel/Sweden
Roberto Des Frettes – Charlotte Haid Bondergaard/Sweden
Sir Donnerhall II OLD – Morgan Barbançon Mestre/Spain
Alcazar – Katherine Bateson Chandler/USA