Katherine Bateson-Chandler & Wellnetta Win Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 6, 2014–Katerine Bateson-Chandler and Wellnetta posted their first international victory Thursday in winning the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix to become the first American rider to win a a CDI Big Tour class in Florida this winter circuit.
The score of 69.280 per cent was just 0.040 per cent higher than the Florida-based Australian Kelly Layne on Udon P with 69.240 per cent and for several minutes the Aussie was announced as the confirmed winner but a glitch in a new scoring system produced incorrect results. Dressage-news.com examined the written test sheets from each of the five judges for both riders and there was no change in the individual hand written marks signed by the judges.
Michael Barisone of Long Valley, New Jersey and his mount Ellegria created history in the same Grand Prix in which the pair placed third on 67.200 per cent.
The 13-year-old mare showed blood on the front foreleg when being examined by the steward checking equipment after the ride.
The steward called the FEI veterinarian who examined the horse and determined it had been caused by Ellegria nicking herself and was not by the rider. The horse also showed no discomfort.
Under the new rules for the sight of blood, the veterinarian exercised her right not to eliminate the horse the first time the rule has been applied.
This was only the second international competition for Katherine, based in Wellington during winter, and the 11-year-old KWPN mare that was bought last summer by Jane Forbes Clark for Katherine to compete for a place on the American team for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.
In the first CDI two weeks ago, the weather was windy and chilly while Thursday it was hot and humid that the rider described as “a sharp learning curve” for Wellnetta to deal with.
“She was just the same, she tried her heart out,” said Katherine who was suffering from the ‘flue and the pair spent several minutes longer than planned in the warmup.
“She helped me out a lot,” she said, “I wasn’t much help.”
Thomas Baur, in his first year as sports director for the Global Dressage Festival, said that to avoid a mistake occurring in the scoring in the future electronic scores would be announced as provisional until calculated by the official scorer.
For Kelly, whose horse had already had the first place blue ribbon placed on its neck along with the winner’s embroidered show rug, the switch in the placings was disappointing.
Earlier Thursday, she and Udon P had been officially placed on the Australian Elite squad for the first time.
Thursday’s result was, however, her highest placing in a Grand Prix since she won on Amoucher in Wayne, Illinois in May, 2008.
Shawna Harding of Aiken, South Carolina returned to the international competition arena with Come On III whom she rode in the 2011 and 2012 World Cup Finals in Europe.
Shawna contracted malaria in Europe that exacerbated a low grade Lyme’s disease that led to serious health problems and knocked her out of riding after the 2012 Finals.
She is now back competing both Come On and Rigo, her other Grand Prix mount, but lost a lot of her businss while being treated for the health issues.
“We have our good days and bad days,” she said. “We’re taking it one day at a time.”