“I feel so fortunate that most summers I am able to go to England to train with my friend Carl Hester. I saw Carl at many international shows when I was grooming for Robert Dover from the early 90's through the Olympics in Athens, and I always admired him from afar. He didn’t seem to get involved in anyone else’s business. He had such a relaxed attitude about the whole thing. And he seemed to really enjoy and love his horses!
I got to know Carl better in 2007, when I went to his place to try a horse for a client. Right away I knew I loved how he trained. He had a similar training philosophy to the one I was used to and as I rode the horse I felt instantly at home, which is very rare when trying horses!
Carl and I became connected when we bought the horse and kept in touch. (This horse is still fit as a fiddle and in perfect shape 10 years later at the age of 20, which is testament to his start in life at Carl’s.) At that time, I knew I needed to spread my wings as I had ridden with Robert my entire riding life. I thought Carl's would be the perfect fit. I was born in the UK and most of my family still lives there so the choice was even easier to make as I felt very at home in England.
Except for 2010, when I competed on the U.S. Team at the World Equestrian Games in
Kentucky, I have spent every summer since 2008 at Carl’s and I have taken a wide variety of
horses with me.
Carl has a structured program where the horses work in the arena Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
and Friday. Wednesday and Saturday they hack out for a good hour on the roads and on
Sunday they have a day off. If they need to add a bit of fitness, we will take them up to Carl’s top field and work them up and down the hills. All the horses are turned out and many go out in groups over night.
This program is rare as most people think five or six days in the arena is the only way to go if you want to succeed. Yet almost all of Carl's horses end up being Grand Prix horses. Of course not all of them will be the caliber of Valegro or Uthopia but they don't have to be!
It's a very relaxed environment with peacocks and Guinea fowl and sometimes up to 11 dogs running in and out of the arena. The horses get used to everything and definitely don't
live sheltered lives. Carl trains with kindness and compassion and of course with well thought through discipline. Everything he does is for a reason and all the animals know they are loved and respected.
I have been to many different stables over the years and have seen many trainers train. Some of Carl's philosophies are a bit different and I think people questioned them for many years, but Carl never did and now he's finally being given the respect he always deserved.”
About Katherine Bateson-Chandler:
Katherine Bateson-Chandler is an internationally successful dressage rider and trainer. She has had multiple wins at both the small tour and Grand Prix level and has enjoyed exceptional
career success for Jane Forbes Clark, owner of Alcazar and Wellnetta, two of her top current
mounts. Born in the UK, Katherine became an American citizen and is based in Wellington,
Florida. She trains each summer with 2012 Team Gold Medalist Carl Hester and gains
international exposure training in Europe.
ShowChic, the beloved upscale dressage boutique, offers the finest selection of dressage
apparel, accessories and gifts. In addition, the Wellington Florida-based boutique hosts monthly “Shop Talks” throughout the show season with leading equine industry professionals.
In February, ShowChic hosted a book signing of Valegro: Champion Horse with owner, trainer
and author, Carl Hester during the Adequate Global Dressage Festival’s CDI-5* week.
To order your copy of the official biography of Valegro and to see ShowChic’s top-of-the-line
products, please visit www.showchicdressage.com or call 561-319-2121.