Wellington, Fla.—March 17
Katherine Bateson scored an emotional win aboard Alcazar in the FEI Grand Prix freestyle CDI****, presented by Havensafe Farm, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival’s Week 10.
Bateson and Alcazar, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Cantango x Polina) owned by Jane Forbes Clark, climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the FEI Grand Prix freestyle with a score of 73.32 percent.
“I’m thrilled to win tonight,” said Bateson. “Alcazar felt amazing. He always gets a little excited with the clapping, so when we are warming up next to all of the clapping he sometimes gets a bit hysterical. He became calmer as time went on. When he got into the ring, I think he was relieved to take a breath for the rest of my test. He really tried though super hard for me, and that means a lot. We’ve been through a lot this past year, so this is really special.”
Alcazar underwent serious colic surgery less than a year ago and has overcome many challenges to work back into the competition ring.
Bateson continued, “He had colic surgery during the show in Aachen [Germany in July], and it was quite serious. He had a lot of gut removed. We had incredible surgeons, and we were blessed to be in the right place. I was unlucky to have it happen, but lucky to be where we were. To be honest, he had the surgery and then he never looked back. He was off for three months and then came back, almost better than ever. Just to have him alive, because they didn’t give him much of a chance, [and] for him to be back not long after and winning a four-star CDI, is pretty amazing.”
See full results from the FEI Grand Prix freestyle and watch the test that won it for Bateson and Alacazar: