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British National Coach

Christopher Bartle

Christopher Bartle's equestrian career took him from dressage to eventing, where he achieved success at the Olympic Games and European Championships, ultimately becoming the trainer for both the German and British Eventing Teams.

From Dressage to Eventing: His Pathway to Success

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

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

The Beginning of his Equestrian Career

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, which he had to give up due to his size. After that, he started concentrating on his eventing career. 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 I’d 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

An International Training Career

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.

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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Christopher Bartle

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