Katherine Bateson-Chandler has retired her 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.) partner, Nartan. The 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Jazz—Tanja, Le Faquin) owned by Jane Clark competed at the first weekend of the USEF Dressage Festival Of Champions (N.J.), placing 14th in the Olympic Grand Prix Special and 12th in the Grand Prix. The competition is also serving as the U.S. selection trial for the Olympic Games in London.
“He doesn’t really owe me anything,” said Bateson-Chandler, Wellington, Fla. “He’s done exactly what he was supposed to do every day that we’ve had him, and I thought I would get qualified to come here putting as little stress as I could on him. Then if I was going to be in the top six after the first weekend, I would carry on, and if I wasn’t, I would retire him. It was already sorted out in our minds.”
The Netherlands’ Jeannette Haazen previously rode Nartan at the Grand Prix level, and Clark purchased him for Bateson-Chandler to ride shortly before the selection trials for the 2010 WEG. At the WEG, Nartan finished 19th individually and helped the U.S. team to fourth, qualifying a team for the 2012 Olympic Games.
“It’s always hard because I’ve loved him as a person and having him in the stable and seeing him everyday, but I know that it’s the right thing for him,” said Bateson-Chandler. “I can’t drag him around the world selfishly to have him with me, so I’ll miss him, and I’ll miss riding him, but I know he’ll be happy, and I know he’ll be well taken care of, so it’s all good.”
While Nartan is bound for retirement at Clark’s farm in upstate New York, Bateson-Chandler, who worked as assistant trainer to Robert Dover for about 16 years, is going to train with Great Britain’s Carl Hester. She’s taking two horses owned by Clark with her: Alcazar, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Contango—Polina, Ferro) gelding, and Dea II, a 12-year-old Hanoverian (Daidalos—St Pr M Athene, Arkansas) mare.
“The future looks really good,” said Bateson-Chandler, 37. “Nartan’s going to go up there and have a fantastic retirement and live like a prince for the rest of his life.”