As the only rider for the USA at the Hickstead CDIO 3*** Katherine Bateson-Chandler and her mentor Carl Hester both competed in the same Grand Prix division, and Katherine had a big concern. “This year my husband Carl (Chandler) who usually comes with me to shows had to travel back home to the states during the show so I was on my own with Lonzie (Alcazar by Contango out of a Ferro mare, owned by Jane Forbes Clark). It was actually fun and like the old days,” said Chandler who has trained for years with Hester spending the summers in her native England at his farm in Newent, Gloucestershire, about two hours north of London. “We had lots of bonding time! Carl H had to take my boots off and do some preparing for the Grand Prix Freestyle which was a bit of a worry but he managed!”
Katherine and Alcazar had respectable results after competing in the electric atmosphere that Hickstead in known for, finishing 7th in the Grand Prix Freestyle with a 71.35. “It's amazing to be in Florida and not to have to travel a lot by having such a fantastic show grounds. But our horses don't get to compete in different venues, and that’s important for horses like Alcazar, especially in his first year in Grand Prix.”
“Being at Carl's is different in itself from being at home in Florida." Katherine added. “There is a lot of activity on a daily basis and the horses get used to traffic and peacocks and chickens and guinea fouls. The horses are not treated like precious hothouse flowers here. They happy horses all treated the same getting to hang out in big fields and go hacking around the property.
For Carl H, Hickstead was an impressive show as well. He was not a member of the silver medal British Nations Cup Team. He was competing as an individual with Wanadoo the 14-year-old Hannoverian Gelding by Wolkenstein II owned by Coral Ingham. It was his first International debut in the Grand Prix and he won the division easily topping the freestyle class (and still managing to take care of Katherine) with a 76.975. “Wanadoo wanted to do it this weekend at Hickstead. Very happy for proud owner Coral Ingham!” Carl noted on his Facebook page.
For more information about the Hickstead Competition visit www.dressageathickstead.com
Visit www.carlhester.co.uk for more information on Carl Hester.
Visit kbcdressage.com to find out more about Katherine Bateson-Chandler
Thank you Risto Aaltonen for the use of his photos. You can see more of his work at www.ristoaaltonen.co.uk.