Katherine Bateson-Chandler & Nartan Win in 1st CDI in Year

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Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Nartan competing in their first CDI in more than a year. © SusanJStickle.com

LOXAHATCHEE, Florida, Mar. 23–Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Nartan competed Friday in a CDI for the first time in 14 months with a victory in the CDI3* Grand Prix on a best ever international score for the U.S. World Equestrian Games team partnership.

Katherine, based in Wellington, Florida, and aiming the 17-year-old KWPN gelding (Jazz x Tanja x Le Paquin) for the U.S. Olympic selection trials in June, scored 70.234 per cent. Germany’s Anja Plönzke on Le Mont d’Or was second on 68.745 per cent and Florida-based Lars Petersen of Denmark and Mariett third on 67.660 per cent.

“He is better than ever,” Katherine said of Nartan that Jane Clark bought in April, 2010 as a WEG prospect. The pair competed twice in Europe after the horse was bought from Jeannette Haazen of The Netherlands then qualified for the championship team that placed fourth in Kentucky to earn a place for the U.S. at the London Olympics. In their one competition after WEG, in January last year, Nartan sustained a minor injury.

“This horse is too good to rush,” Katherine said. “It was not a big deal and Jane and myself always want to do the right thing by the horse so we had a quiet summer in Wellington… a lot of time on the treadmill for Nartan.”

This was their return to competition.

“He felt amazing. This was one of my favorite rides ever. He is the most generous horse on the planet. He was a saint.”

Riding to the warmup on a long rein, Nartan started bucking.

“I was laughing,” she said, “that he was feeling so fresh.”

Although she rode conservatively, she joked, they had a “disgusting reinback that was a stupid place to lose points.”

At the end of the ride Katherine was so happy that she cried, uncharacteristic for her.

“We are not peaking yet,” she said. “We want to build up for the season. This is just the beginning of the road.”

Katherine plans to compete Nartan again at the Global Dressage Festival CDIO3* in Wellington in mid-April for qualifying scores.

Her plan is to compete at the U.S. Olympic selection trials in Gladstone, New Jersey, then head to Britain to work with her long time trainer, Carl Hester.

1. Katherine Bateson-Chandler USA Nartan 70.234%

2. Anja Plönzke GER Le Mont d’Or 68.745%

3. Lars Petersen DEN Mariett 67.660%

4. Diane Creech CAN Devon L 67.000%

5. James Koford USA Pharaoh 66.489%

6.  Mikala Gundersen DEN My Lady 66.426%

Complete CDI results: Loxahatchee CDI GP Scores