Chris Stafford kicks off the spring season with Frankie Thierot-Stutes, who is aiming for her first Kentucky 5 star event, plus an important win in Wellington for Katherine Bateson-Chandler
The Horse Show is presented by Chris Stafford
Podcast length: 44’10”
Chris Stafford returns with news and interviews from around the world of equestrian sport by counting down to this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event and featuring some of the first timers to the only 5 star competition in North America. The first guest is California based Frankie Thierot Stutes who had a bumper season last year with her 11 year old Oldenburg gelding Chatwin when they culminated by winning the FairHill three star event. I spoke to Frankie after her dressage at the Galway Downs International 4star short event last week which was the third outing of the year for the partnership as they prepare for the big event.
Later in program we will hear from Katherine Bateson-Chandler who, together with the 14 year old Dutch gelding Alcazar, won the FEI four star Grand Prix Freestyle last week in week 12 of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida scoring a personal best with her long time partner.
The World Cup Dressage and Jumping Finals takes place this week in Gothenburg, Sweden and if you’ve been following the World Cup season it may seem that if Germany’s Isabell Werth is on form she will always be the one to beat and certainly with five World Cup titles to her name the doyen of dressage will be giving it all she has with Weihegold to make it a hat-trick of World Cup titles. There are combinations who could deny her the title again including one of the US ladies and Laura Graves will know this is her best chance to add this to her career highlights with Verdades.
Veteran show jumper Beezie Madden is also going for a hat-trick and will be under no illusion of the stiff competition the popular American rider faces if she is to bring it home again with Breitling. She has three other women joining her on the US contingent the 20 year old Eve Jobs and twenty-one year old Kelli Cruciotti (21) will be two of the youngest riders in action along with Georgina Bloomberg. American women have a great record at the World Cup Show Jumping Final. Melanie Smith won the title in 1983, Leslie Burr Lenehan in 1986) and Katharine Burdsall in 1987.
The World Cup Finals mark the end of the indoor season so once the dust has settled in Gothenburg the focus will turn to the spring season of Nations Cups and selection for the Pan American Games which take place in Lima, Peru this summer and the European Championships. Both competitions are the last chance for nations to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler is an internationally successful dressage rider and trainer, whose efforts have made a name for herself among some of the best in the world. Katherine currently trains in Europe during the summer with British Olympic Team Gold Medalist Carl Hester, and is dedicated to improving both herself and her horses while gaining international exposure at some of the worlds most prestigious dressage competitions.
At age 16, Katherine started working as a groom for six-time Olympian Robert Dover at his New Jersey and Florida farms. She gained a wealth of knowledge and experience working her way up as an Assistant Trainer to Dover through two World Championships and two Olympics games. When Dover retired from competition in 2005, Katherine took over the reins on many of his Jane F. Clark owned mounts.
The transition was highly supported by Clark, as Katherine began her career competing in her first Grand Prix, and qualifying for the national championships on Clark’s Ranier. In 2006, she rode FBW Kennedy to a win in the FEI Grand Prix at the Zada Enterprises LLC Dressage Classic at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL, scoring a 70.208%. In 2010, Katherine and Nartan represented the U.S. at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. Their efforts contributed to a fourth-place team finish for the US, and the duo individually qualified for the Grand Prix Special.
Aboard Clark’s Wellnetta, Katherine has had great success in the show ring, despite having only been training together a relatively short time before going down centerline. At the 2014 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, the pair placed 11th in the FEI Grand Prix Test, scoring 69.820%; 10th in the FEI Grand Prix Special with 69.804%; and 10th in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with an impressive 72.750%.
Katherine has most currently been making headlines with Alcazar, also owned by Clark, as the pair has consistently scored in the top rankings in Grand Prix and also represented the US at an international Nations Cup competition. In 2014 the pair earned the Adequan USDF Dressage (Intermediate II) Horse of the Year title, and wrapped up their European summer tour as the highest-placed American pair at the Dressage at Hickstead CDIO 3*, and in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Comite Equestre De Saumur CDI3* in France. After winning several national Grand Prix classes, Katherine took Alcazar into the international ring in 2015 and the year was highlighted by a tremendous victory in the Grand Prix Special at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival 10 CDI-W.
In 2016, Katherine and Alcazar’s Grand Prix Freestyle, set to a compilation of groovy tunes, stole the spotlight several times and earned them the champion title in the CDI3* classes at the Global Dressage Festival. Further adding to their accolades, the combination earned the highest American placing with a 73.450 percent in the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W presented by Everglades Dressage. While competing in Europe over the summer, she represented the U.S. Nations Cup team at the CDIO3* Odense Horse Festival and placed in the top three at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage Lemieux Grand Prix. At the CHIO Aachen, she claimed a silver medal and assisted the U.S. in winning the inaugural FEI Nations Cup Dressage Series.
Born in Britain, Katherine is a naturalized American citizen and spends her winters based in Wellington, Florida where she trains with US Olympian and Developing Coach for he US Dressage Team Debbie McDonald. Even with her many wins and top placings internationally at the Grand Prix level, Katherine is still as devoted as ever to developing her mounts and advancing in the world of dressage.