Loxahatchee, Florida – When Katherine Bateson-Chandler was in England training with Carl Hester last summer, she spotted Dea II at his barn and just had to have her. It wasn't easy getting Hester to part with the nine-year-old Hanoverian mare sired by Diadalos, but he finally relented and Bateson-Chandler brought Dea home to America last fall. The Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI was the pair's first CDI together and in it they took first in CDI Prix St. Georges competition with a score of 70.088 percent. "Earning that score was a thrill," Bateson-Chandler said. "I've had the opportunity to sit on a lot of great horses and I know what they feel like. Dea is one of those horses that you sit on and you feel privileged to be on her. I try to ride her to the best of my potential."
Coming in second in the Prix St. Georges competition was Marco Bernal riding Halbgott to a score of 69.912 percent. The next day, that pair took the win in the CDI Intermediaire I with a great score of 72.281 percent. Arlene "Tuny" Page was right behind them with Alina and a score of 70.088. Bateson-Chandler and Dea finished the Intermediaire I in fifth with a score of 68.947 that Bateson-Chandler said reflected rider error. "Ugh, I let her down and went off course. It's the one thing you can control but then you feel stupid going off course."
Bateson-Chandler spent four months training in Europe last year, based with Carl Hester in England and that's where she spotted Dea. "I saw her going around with one of Carl's students and he said then that she was not for sale. But I kept bugging him until he let me try her. He had done well with her, but said he didn't feel like they really clicked. I think she's a girl's horse," Bateson-Chandler said with a laugh.
Hester finally agreed to sell the mare and Bateson-Chandler called Jane Clark. "And she was very kind to buy her for me when I called her on the phone. We didn't really want a horse that green, but I felt this one had something really special and Jane supported me." Bateson-Chandler trains with Ashley Holzer, but also continues to work with Hester on his trips to the U.S. "He knew we'd give Dea a great home and that he'd still be involved in her life. And Ashley has been great because she's been super, super busy but makes time for us."
Bateson-Chandler's other top FEI mount is Rutherford and she'd like to make the National Dressage Championships in Gladstone this year with both Dea and Rutherford. "Wouldn't that be great? But Dea is still pretty green and with big movers like her and Rutherford, you really have to take your time and let them build strength." Her other plan for this year is to make another trip back to Europe.
[#25784 override="Complete Palm Beach Dressage Derby Results" title="Complete Palm Beach Dressage Derby Results"]