With the winter dressage show season fast approaching and the World Equestrian Games scheduled to be held in the United States less than two years from now, Horse Radio Network’s talk show “Horses in the Morning” recently invited Grand Prix competitor Katherine Bateson-Chandler to the broadcast’s Omega Alpha Equine Monday Edition to give the inside scoop on what it’s like to prepare for the show ring.
A podcast of Bateson-Chandler’s interview is now available at the “Horses in the Morning” web site (www.horsesinthemorning.com), in which Bateson-Chandler shares her thoughts on planning for the World Equestrian Games, the upcoming Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, her bond with her superstar mount Alcazar and the invaluable boost she gains from training with British Olympian Carl Hester.
The road to the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games will offer triumphs and inevitable challenges for standout horse-and-rider pairs who hope to compete in the Tryon, N.C., event. Bateson-Chandler is already working hard to prepare for the WEG — one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar — and spent this past summer competing in Europe and training with Hester.
“One hundred percent, I believe horses have a ‘person,’” she explained. “Alcazar is my special boy.”
The Dutch-bred gelding affectionately known as “Lonzie,” owned by Jane Clark, has trained up the levels to Grand Prix with Bateson-Chandler. “When you spend every day with a horse, there is a bond you can’t describe,” she said. “You have to feel it. We know each other so well. He has a lot of character and tries really hard, with enough spice that keeps every day interesting. He is back up and running after colic surgery last summer, and he feels better than ever.”
As plans for the 2018 World Equestrian Games begin to form, Bateson-Chandler is first intent on the Wellington show series at hand. With her personal and professional mentor Olympian Debbie McDonald, she will choose Florida shows to compete in and will also look toward next summer in Europe.
“I always have a greater idea in mind of what I want to do, but again, you learn that things can change,” she said. “If you wait until the year of the championships to plan, you are behind the eight ball. Everyone is planning now, to be honest, even toward the Tokyo Olympics. Absolutely, this is a very important season.”
ABOVE: Dressage rider Katherine Bateson-Chandler.