They really do like to gallop. That seems to be an inherent characteristic of off the track Thoroughbreds making the transition to the sport of eventing, and something upper level eventer Kate Chadderton has experienced first hand.
The horseman is based this winter at Julie Zapapas’ Jumping Branch Farm. Chadderton competed this weekend at the Pine Top Farm Horse Trials in Thomson, Ga., and had two rides with both horses going intermediate, Patrick McCuan’s VS McCuan Civil Liberty and Beth Sokohl’s Buckharo. Chadderton described both off the track Thoroughbreds as green and in need of the run this weekend.
“They were both really good,” said Chadderton. “The cross country phase was Friday. They jumped down really well. The show jumping phase was Saturday. They showed in a couple of little places. where they were green, but they were competing against four-star horses. They held their own.“
All of the horses in Chadderton’s barn, who is based in Maryland for the preponderance of the year, are off the track Thoroughbreds, and vary in their level of experience.
“They’re all really good galloping horses, so, I have to concentrate on them to settle, to appreciate the finer points of dressage,” said Chadderton. “They really like to jump and they’re very athletic. They’re very brave horses, and I can miss at something and they’re still going to jump it.”
The Aussie born Chadderton has been in the states for several years, and feels fortunate to have the support of a number of people, who have allowed the eventer to develop the horses and bring them along at their own pace.
“This is the beginning of our year,” said Chadderton. “We have a really big season once we get back north. And, it’s still a long way from here to November.”
The most challenging phase for Chadderton has been the dressage. The off the track Thoroughbreds in Chadderton’s barn seem to possess similar attributes.
“I suddenly have a type, and they’re quite small,” said Chadderton. “You’d be surprised none of them make 16 hands. They’re all on the smaller side, but they all jump very careful, are scopey and are very brave.”
Chadderton will be going to Quebec in June to compete at the Bromont CCI*** at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park. The eventer will be pointing Collection Pass to the CCI*** and Civil Liberty toward the two-star.
“They’re the ones that I’ve been working with the longest and I’m excited about their future,” said Chadderton. “I really don’t have as much say as I would like. They tell me if they want to do more or less. I try to listen to them.”
The Red Hills International Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Fla. on March 8-10 is next on the itinerary for Chadderton,.
“I’ve never been there before, so it will be an experience for me,” said Chadderton. “I know there are a lot of spectators there. A couple of my horses have been to shows like that and others haven’t. I do some cross training with the pure show jumping, and it kind of helps them out, when you get into a situation when there are crowds. They’ve seen a little bit at the show jumping competitions. There’s more atmosphere.”