Katherine Bateson-Chandler to Compete Hexagon’s Wellnetta for USA
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Katherine Bateson-Chandler will be the new rider of Hexagon’s Wellnetta for the United States after the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare was bought as a prospect for the 2014 World Equestrian Games since being started at Grand Prix with improving results by the Netherlands’ Laurens Van Lieren.
Wellnetta (Labo x Rubiquil) was a rising star for Holland but was pulled from the Nations Cup CDIO5* team at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany this week after the sale of the horse to Jane Clark, a longtime backer of top dressage, jumpers and driving horses for the United States.
The sale of Wellnetta was first reported by the Dutch equestrian newspaper, Hoefslag.
Katherine, who is coached by and based in the summer at the training center of Great Britain’s Olympic gold medalist Carl Hester, told dressage-news.com her plan “is to bring her to England to Carl’s yard and get to know her” after the Aachen event. The horse will go to Britain along with the jumpers that are competed for Jane by Great Britain’s jumping Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher.
“She’s a lovely mare with a fantastic temperament,” said Katherine who is based in Wellington, Florida. “Really sweet!!”
Laurens and his father, Leunus, she said, “have done a great job in training her and they have been so helpful and kind in every way.”
Katherine is the “new mom” that will get to ride Wellnetta when the horse arrives in ENgland.
“I hope to compete her before we come home to Florida,” she said. “Wellnetta is a perfect addition to our stable and takes a bit of the pressure off her new younger brother Lonzie!!”
“Lonzie” is a KWPN gelding that Jane bought in 2012 as a seven-year-old to be a future team proespect for Katherine. She renamed the horse, Alcazar.
Wellnetta is the latest in a string of mounts acquired by American owners and riders in an effort to regain a place on the medals podium at world championships.
Hoefslag quoted Laurens as saying the sale was made “with a heavy heart” but “this was exactly the right moment to sell” as they are developing new, young talented horses.
The sale of Wellnetta was arranged by Diederik Wigmans.
Jane Clark has bought Nartan from Jeannette Hazen of the Netherlands for Katherine before the 2010 WEG and the combination became a member of the team that finished fourth and qualified a United States team for the Olympics in London two years later.
Laurens, aged 31 and on the Dutch B squad with Wellnetta, told Hoefslag: “I expect that we will hear of this combination.”
He began competing Wellnetta last December and has consistently scored 70-plus per cent at Grand Prix in international competitions.