Nutrena-Sponsored Aussie Eventer Kate Chadderton Heads to American Eventing Championships
As riders from around the country gear up for the American Eventing Championships in Wayne, Illinois, this weekend, there will be a new face in the crowd. Following an equine influenza outbreak that put most of the horse industry in Australia on hold, Kate Chadderton is one of the latest in a wave of Australian event riders to pack her bags and move to the United States.
Based at Tewksbury Manor in Laytonsville, Maryland, the 27-year-old Queensland native is working to set up a business as she adapts to her new country.
A former working student for Australian Boyd Martin, who has successfully established himself as assistant trainer to Aussie expat Phillip Dutton at True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania, Kate started her own riding and training business, “Victory Sport Horses” in early 2004. She also trained with Martin’s former boss, Australian dressage and event rider Heath Ryan and his wife Rozzie.
“I worked for Boyd for three years, starting in 2000, and he gave me a great foundation,” she said. “I also trained with Heath during that time, and after I started my own business.”
In the past few years Kate has had various placings at the advanced level and was the New South Wales state Champion. She felt that it was time for her to broaden her horizons, so noting the success of other Australian eventers who moved to the U.S., she followed suit.
Kate brought her preliminary event horse “Rocco” with her, a rather distinctive seven-year-old palomino Saddlebred gelding that she owns in partnership with Margaret Warwick, who originally purchased him as a foal. Kate has been riding the talented gelding from the start and is working on moving him up the levels, planning on his first one-star at the Plantation Field CIC, following the Preliminary Championships at the Wellpride American AEC. The plan is to move him up to intermediate in the spring of 2009.
“He’s a really good jumper,” said Kate. “He’s very brave and careful.”
Like most people who pull up roots in their home country, Kate saw the United States as a land of opportunity. So far her adopted home has met her expectations. She commented, “The courses are very well presented here and the events are exceptionally well organized and attended.”
At Tewksbury Manor, owned by Mel and Cherie Paisley, Kate already has a thriving business, teaching lessons and riding a string of event and dressage horses. One of these dressage horses is Late Night, an eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding that Kate will compete in the First Level BLM Championships in October.
Kate met the Paisleys through a member of the Redland Hunt Pony Club, where USEF President David O’Connor got his start. “We had someone who was just filling in at the time, and when we met Kate we were impressed with her exemplary background, her desire, drive and vision,” said Cherie Paisley. “It was a perfect match – we both wanted the same things. Kate is now riding our event and dressage horses and even working with a yearling that we are preparing for inspection, but her drive is eventing – she wants to make it to the Olympics and we’d like to do everything we can to help her.”
The Paisleys are in the 60’s and thinking about retirement, so they have put their farm up for sale, but Cherie said that they built the buildings and the business and will hold out for a buyer that will maintain their vision. “It’s been a tough decision to sell it, but we set it up as a turn-key operation, and if it’s not sold we’ll keep it going. Kate will be off and running whether she stays here or moves on – she’s very talented. She’s kind to the horses and figures out what they need – it’s amazing.”
Kate currently trains with Boyd Martin for jumping and JJ Tate for dressage. Recently she had the chance to participate in a clinic with esteemed dressage instructor and judge Linda Zang, riding both Rocco and a dressage horse named Tony. Kate commented, “Linda was fantastic and very quick and accurate at with assessing both horses’ strengths and weaknesses. The exercises she gave me worked and will keep me busy for a while. The exercises with Rocco are very similar to what Heath teaches so I was pretty familiar with it.”
In 2004 Kate won the prestigious Nescafé Big Break contest in Australia, which honors enterprising ideas and visions of all kinds. Kate’s goal to compete in the Olympic Games did not go unnoticed by the judging panel.
Back in Australia Kate’s mother, Dorne, is busy raising the hopeful stars of her daughter’s future. Their broodmares, purchased with Kate’s Big Break winnings, have bloodlines like Sir Tristram, King of Babylon, Northern Congress, Belcam Jaguar, Ludendorf and Grand Kavalier and have been bred to stallions with solid jumping and dressage bloodlines, including Jive Magic, Regardez Moi and Falkrick.
Kate’s success in the US has also been noticed by Nutrena Feeds, who recently signed on as her sponsor.
Kate is excited to be heading to the American Eventing Championships this week. Following the Plantation Field CIC and Morven Park, she and her horses will head to Aiken, South Carolina for the winter.
Kate can be contacted at 240-750-5737 or VictorySportHorses@hotmail.com