Friday, December 14, 2012

A Chat with Katherine Bateson-Chandler

By Kitson

Katherine on Zandi (aka Zandreau)
International dressage rider Katherine Bateson Chandler has her work cut out for her this season in Wellington, Florida with green competition horses. 

“It’s a fun challenge,” she says. I’m sure she’s up to the task – Katherine is a smart and talented rider with a knack for bringing out the best in her horses. I got to know her a bit in 2011 while working on a story for Dressage Today (it’s the cover story for the December 2012 issue). The story focused on how she met her 2010 World Equestrian Games horse, Nartan, and how she honed their relationship on a very short timeframe.

I chatted with Katherine recently, here’s what she’s up to:

How will you juggle holiday plans with the season gearing up in Wellington?
I have to say as mine and my husbands’ families all live in other countries (mine in England and his in New Zealand!) then our holidays are quite quiet and spent with our animals!

Who are your primary horses now with Nartan retired?
I have some younger horses coming along. First and foremost Alcazar who will compete small tour this year hopefully both here in the states and in Europe. I have my own seven-year old who will also start in the Prix St. Georges after the new year and an eight year old named Zandreau who I hope will do some fourth levels early in the season!

What do you love most about being in Wellington during the winter?
I have been coming to Wellington in the season all of my adult life! For me it's like summer camp in the winter!!! I get to see all my friends who come down here for the season and enjoy picking and choosing what shows to compete at. This year we have the choice of shows as there is something every weekend. I love seeing all the new horses and how the ones I know have progressed. It's so educational and I can't get enough.

What shows are you most looking forward to?
I am of course looking forward to watching the dressage masters. It's great to see the Europeans. Also the Nations Cup in April will be a highlight. 

Are you doing any horsey d├ęcor in your new home?
I'm embarrassed to say I don't really have a lot of other interests other than the horses, so my house has a constant horsey theme. My poor husband!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thomas Jefferson's Horses

By Kitson

I visited Monticello this past weekend and enjoyed peeking into the stables built into a hillside near the author of the Declaration of Indenpence's famous author. I did a little research and found out that a horse named Caractacus was Jefferson's most well-known riding horse. He was foaled in May of 1775 and was a descendant of the Godolphin Arabian. Jefferson was known for being a fierce rider who enjoyed fox-hunting and loved to watch horse racing.

Jefferson planned things he called "dependencies" like the stable, kitchen and smoke house, so they didn't interfere with the amazing mountaintop views. The stables closest to the house are built into a hillside. You can see the roof of what becomes the stable area on the left.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Science Behind Branding

By Kitson

Here's an interesting article on the debate about branding foals for identification. The big question: are the brands even legible down the road? I wonder: why not just microchip?

Monday, December 3, 2012

100 Most Popular Horse Names

SmartPak chronicled the 100 most popular horse names here.  I seriously think I knew horses named at least 60 of these, more if you count horses in books, and have owned two.  (I had a Romeo (#19) and I have a Sugar (#56) right now.)  I like that there are asterisks next to the horse names owned by SmartPark employees--Rocky, Lucy, Sunny.   Number one is Jack.  But the Gingers and Magics, Dukes, Indies, and Jazzes. . .you know them!

Horse Drama in the Quarter Horse World

Every breed gets a not-in-a-good-way spotlight, seems like.  Today is evidently the Quarter Horse people's turn.  Click here for a story of Quarter Horse scandal from the LA Times.  Teaser in form of the subhead:  "Owner Rita Crundwell 'was kind of like Madonna' in her field. Then it turned out she'd been stealing money – more than $53 million – from the town she worked for."