Christopher Bartle

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Christopher Bartle
National trainer of
the British Eventing team

Eventing

“A horse can feel a fly. One doesn’t need to be strong to be an effective rider”

Christopher Bartle travelled an unusual path to eventing. As a member of the British Dressage Team he rode at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and in the individual finished in 6th place with Wily Trout. Until the London Games in 2012, he remained best placed British dressage rider at an Olympic Games.

As part of the British Eventing Team won (Team) Gold in 1997 at the European Championships, in 1998 he then won 4* Badminton Horse Trials. 

Together with Hans Melzer, he was the German National Eventing Trainer from 2001-2016. In this time, the Germans won Individual and Team Gold Medals at the European Championships (2011) and the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

From an early age his mother, Nicole Bartle, had a big influence on him as a dressage rider and his interest in horses. After studying management at the University of Bristol Christopher Bartle was an Amateur Jockey but due to his size had to give up and then started concentrating on eventing. Wily Trout was advertised cheaply as a brave cross country horse but no talent for dressage. Unfortunately, during the training for his first 4* he damaged a tendon and was no longer able to go eventing as I brought Wily back into work after a year off for the tendon, more as a bit of fun, I thought Id try some flying changes, then piaffe and passage. Then I realized just how much talent he had as a dressage horse.

Despite his success at the Olympic Games in Dressage, he says his heart lies with eventing.

I am of the opinion, that you should ride a horse in the discipline for which he has talent

This is what he says about his job as the German Eventing Coach:

It was incredible to work with the Team! Eventing in Germany is not as big here as it is in the UK. For us, Three Day Eventing is the most difficult discipline there is, whereas in Germany, one had the feeling that many used to think it was just for riders not good enough at show jumping or dressage. However, this thinking has changed. I think the success of the German Eventers has had an influence on this.

Since 2017, Chris Bartle trains the British eventing team leading them to the team gold and the third individual place at the European Championships the same year.

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