Katherine Bateson-Chandler Retires WEG mount Nartan
American Grand Prix rider Katherine Bateson-Chandler has announced the retirement of the 2010 U.S. WEG team horse Nartan. The 17-year old Dutch warmblood gelding did his final competition at the 2012 U.S. Dressage Championships last weekend.
The 1995 born Dutch warmblood gelding Nartan is bred by W van Loveren and is by Jazz out of Tanja (by Le Faquin). He conquered the international Grand Prix ring under Dutch Jeannette Haazen, who decided to sell Nartan in 2010 when she was unsure of team selection after having been the number five in Holland for years and missing out on the Dutch team each time.
American Jane Forbes Clarke acquired the dark bay gelding in May 2010 for Katherine Bateson's WEG campaign. The combination was very successful, finishing third at the 2010 U.S. Dressage Championships and obtaining a spot on the WEG team. At the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky they finished 19th in the Grand Prix Special.
Nartan and Bateson's 2011 show season was interrupted right after the spring Florida circuit when an injury sidelined the then 16-year old gelding. The pair returned to the show ring in the spring of 2012 and qualified for the 2012 National Championships.
In Gladstone, Bateson and Nartan finished 12th in the Grand Prix (67.362%) and 14th in the Special (66.556%). Katherine decided to retire Nartan after the first weekend of competition at the 2012 Festival of Champions.
"I had decided coming in to Gladstone that unless I was in the top 6 after the first week then I would not be greedy and we would retire him," Bateson-Chandler told Eurodressage. "He doesn't owe us a day of anything and his heart is so big he would never say no! I would selfishly keep him with us forever so we could see his cute face everyday, but he deserves a lovely retirement going in the paddock and being fat and happy!"
After taking over Robert Dover's Olympic mount FBW Kennedy as a schoolmaster, Nartan became the horse instrumental in Bateson's professional career as a high performance rider. "He has given me everything every day I have ridden him and is the most honest character I have ever met. I owe him so much as he has given me my first real tastes of competition on a championship level being a rider instead of a groom!"
The Florida based Bateson will now focus on her FEI horse Dea II as well as her two youngsters, Jane Clarke's 7-year old Dutch warmblood Alcazar (formerly known as Alonzo) and her own 7-year old Absolute.
"The future looks bright but there will be a hole in our hearts that will be saved for Nartan," she said.
Photos © Astrid Appels