National Convention: Get to know host Chris Bartle
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With just one week to go find out more about our third host, eventing and dressage maestro Chris Bartle. Read on as we delve into the cross-discipline successes of one of British equestrian’s all-time greats.
Few coaches can boast a career both in and out of the saddle as luminous as that of eventing and dressage legend Chris Bartle. Yorkshire born Chris is the current managing director and resident instructor at the Yorkshire Riding Centre in Harrogate, as well as playing a vital role within the Equestrian Team GBR support network as Eventing High Performance Coach.
Chris spent his early days riding hunters and point to pointers and was an amateur on the National Hunt circuit for a couple of years, whilst reading Economics at Bristol University. A successful start in eventing ensued before an impromptu move to the dressage arena, it was an unfortunate injury to draw the gifted rider to the British Dressage scene as Chris’s iconic bay Wily Trout picked up a tendon injury which would ultimately end the horse’s career over fences. In a true triumph over adversity story, the gelding’s clear talent for dressage gave him a second shot at glory and soon after, Bartle became a regular inclusion to the British teams for the subsequent years to follow. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Chris finished sixth individually, the highest placing of a British rider until Charlotte Dujardin in 2012, and two years later the duo recorded a second place at the FEI World Cup Finals. To crown a supreme dressage career, Chris holds two National Champion titles, gained in 1984 and 1985.
Upon the retirement of Wily Trout, Chris turned his attention back to eventing. In 1997 he was part of the gold medal winning eventing team at the European Championships, and just one year later he recorded a historic win at Badminton Horse Trials on board the popular Word Perfect, the horse who would also earn a reserve spot for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
Away from the saddle, Chris acted as National Coach to the German Olympic eventing team for 16 years, within which they earned Team Silver and Individual Gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Team and Individual Gold medals at the London Olympics in 2012 and at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 – a feat not to be taken lightly! Closer to home, Chris trains many British international level riders, including the highly successful British team rider and fellow North Yorkshire local Nicola Wilson. Chris received the British Horse Society’s Trainers Award in 1995, and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Horse Society in 2001.
Learn from one of equestrian’s most well respected and gifted riders and coaches at the National Convention in association with Harrison Clark Rickerbys. Buy event tickets online or call 02476 698833 to book over the phone.
Quick fire facts with Chris Bartle
- Member of the British Dressage Team from 1981 to 1987
- Sixth Individually in Los Angeles Olympics with Wily Trout
- National Dressage Champion in 1984 and 1985
- Fourth in the European Championships in 1985
- Second in the Nashua Dressage World Cup in 1986
- Awarded the British Equestrian Federation's Medal of Honour 1986
- Scottish Open Eventing Champion in 1997 (Word Perfect)
- Member of the Gold Medal winning British Team in the European Championships in 1997
- Winner Badminton Horse Trials 1998 (Word Perfect)
- Reserve for Olympic Team 2000 (Word Perfect)