Christopher Bartle

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Christopher Bartle
Christopher Bartle.jpg
Personal information
Full name Christopher John Bartle
Nationality  England
Born (1952-02-19) 19 February 1952 (age 65)
Residence Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 143 lb (65 kg; 10.2 st)
Website [1]
Country  United Kingdom
Sport Equestrianism
Event(s) Dressage, Eventing
Turned pro 1976
Coached by Mrs Nicole Bartle, Hans von Blixen-Finecke, Jr.
Retired 2003
Achievements and titles
World finals 2nd - 1992 Nashua Dressage World Cup
National finals 1st - 1984, 1985
Olympic finals 6th - 84' Los Angeles (Holds British Record)
Personal best(s) Individual C'ship Dressage - 6th (1984, NR)
Christopher Bartle
Medal record
Representing  United Kingdom
European Eventing Championships
Gold medal – first place 1997 Burghley Team Eventing

Christopher Bartle (born 19 February 1952 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire) is a British equestrian who has enjoyed success in both Dressage and Eventing. He is currently the Managing Director of the Yorkshire Riding Centre[1] and from 2001 together with Hans Melzer, he is the German 3 Day Eventing National Team Trainer.[2] Chris is the brother of Jane Bartle-Wilson, who was also an Olympian in the 84' Los Angeles Olympics.

The Early Years[edit]

Chris Bartle was educated at Ampleforth College and the University of Bristol where he obtained a BSc(Econ) with honours in Economics. After his university years Chris was an amateur jockey, but being 5ft11 he struggled to keep his weight down in order to establish himself. This prompted his first spell in Three day eventing. He was initially trained by his mother, Mrs Nicole Bartle and then later by Hans von Blixen-Finecke, Jr., (A Double Gold Medalist at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics for Three day Eventing).



While preparing for the 1976 Burghley Horse Trials Bartle's horse, Wily Trout, picked up a tendon injury that forced the horse into retirement from eventing. However, Wily Trout showed potential in dressage. One year later Bartle was competing at the World Championships as an individual. The combination went on to become part of the British Dressage Team from 1981-1987. In this time Bartle competed at the 84' Summer Olympics in Los Angeles for the British team. The team came 8th, but Chris Bartle tied for 6th in the individual event to make history by becoming the highest placed British rider, a record he still held as of January 2011. Chris and Wily Trout's last major contribution in dressage came when they was second placed at the first Dressage World Cup Final in 's-Hertogenbosch 1986. This period was capped off when Bartle was awarded the British Equestrian Federation's Medal of Honour in 1986.

Three Day Eventing[edit]

Bartle then took the opportunity to turn back to eventing and had a whole host of successes which included winning team Gold at the 1997 European Championships with the British Event Team, before winning the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials in 1998, on Word Perfect II, owned by Elaine and Adrian Cantwell.[3] He also travelled with Word Perfect to the Sydney Olympics in 2000, as reserve.

Past Rides[edit]

  • Dressage - Wily Trout & Honey Tangle
  • Eventing - Wily Trout, Up River, Castle Hill, Word Perfect II, Oscar


British National Team[edit]

After his successful Dressage period Bartle was invited to train the British Eventing team, where he went to the 96' Atlanta[2] and 00' Sydney[3] Olympic games. In 1995 Christopher Bartle received the British Horse Society's Trainers Award, and in 2001 was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the British Horse Society.

German National Team[edit]

Since 2001 Chris has been the National Coach to the German Olympic Three Day Event Team - Winners of Team and Individual Gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Michael Jung, Individual World Champion Kentucky 2010. His experience led to him writing Training the Sport Horse, which he co-authored with Gilliam Newsum. The book was published by J. A. Allen in 2004.[4]

Training Individuals[edit]

Locally Christopher Bartle trains many British International level riders, notably for many years the British team rider Nicola Wilson from Northallerton, North Yorkshire.

Yorkshire Riding Centre[edit]

Bartle has been the Managing Director and resident instructor at the Yorkshire Riding Centre for many years, developing a wealth of knowledge. He does not exclusively teach international or high level competition riders, and is known to teach developing riders on their own horses.



  • Highest placed British Dressage rider in the Olympic Games to date (6th, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics)
  • National Dressage Champion in 1984 and 1985
  • 4th place at the 1985 European Championships
  • 2nd place at the 1986 Nashua Dressage World Cup
  • Awarded the British Equestrian Federation's Medal of Honour in 1986.


  • 1991 Scottish Open Champion (Up River)
  • Placed at 1995 Burghley CCI**** (Castle Hill)
  • 3rd at 1996 Blenheim ***
  • 5th at 1996 Bramham ***
  • Completed 1997 Badminton ****
  • 1997 Scottish Open Champion (Word Perfect)
  • Team Gold Medal at the 1997 European Championships
  • 1st at the 1998 Badminton Horse Trials CCI**** (Word Perfect)
  • 1st at the 1999 Achselschwang Horse Trials *** (Oscar)
  • 5th at the 2000 Burghley **** (Word Perfect)
  • Reserve for Sydney 2000 British Event Team (Word Perfect)


  • Was awarded the British Horse Society's Trainers Award in 1995
  • Dressage Trainer to British Event Team at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games
  • German National Trainer Eventing since 2001 (together with Hans Melzer)
  • Was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the British Horse Society in 2001



2.^ a b Murphy "Bartle finds right lines" The Independent

3.^ "Training the Sport Horse" [edit] References


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b short biography of Chris Bartle, Deutsche Reiterliche Vereinigung (German Equestrian Federation)
  3. ^ a b Murphy "Bartle finds right lines" The Independent
  4. ^ "Training the Sport Horse"