Tag Archives: Cathrine Dufour

Dazzling Dufour and Cassidy Triumph Again in Gothenburg

Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Not for the first time, Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and her mighty little chestnut gelding Atterupgaards Cassidy stole Swedish hearts when winning the tenth leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League at the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg (SWE).

The Danish pair has a particular affinity with this city, taking bronze here in both the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle at the FEI European Championships staged in 2017 and then returning to win the FEI Dressage World Cup™ qualifier in 2018.  And they were unbeatable once more, despite a shaky start in the Grand Prix in which they had to settle for third place after a nasty stumble in their first extended trot and an error of course at the end of their test.

“I’ve had him 10 years now and he’s really special for me and my family. I think I owe this horse everything – he kind of created my career and I am really truly enjoying every time I ride down the centreline, because he’s 17 years old and you never know what happens. He feels great and is super-sound, but you just have remember to enjoy every single ride!” Dufour said after pinning Germany’s Benjamin Werndl and Frederic Wandres into third.

Sweden’s Paulinda Friberg and Di Lapponia T kicked off the action after the half-time break with a new leading mark of 74.145, but Wandres soared out in front when posting 81.465 with Duke of Britain for a test that oozed power and pizzazz. Their coordination with their musical score was superb.

“We used this music for the first time at London Olympia at Christmas and it was good; today is only the second time we do it, and when the crowd started clapping on the last line I knew it was not too bad again!” said the rider who finished his performance with extravagant one-handed passage to the delight of the spectators.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Fry and Dark Legend, who posted a personal-best when claiming runner-up spot in the Grand Prix, also produced some fabulous passage on their way to a mark of 81.030, but then Dufour blew the whole competition wide open. Cassidy sparkled as they collected 9s for extended trot and 10s for canter pirouette, and when 87.860 went up on the board that was always going to be tough to beat.

The penultimate partnership of Sandra Dahlin and Ichi have been making the headlines all week because this is a horse that comes with a fascinating story. The Dahlin family won Ichi’s mother in a raffle at Gothenburg Horse Show 17 years ago, and the 14-year-old mare has done them proud. As Show Director, Tomas Torgersen, said, some new riders who have been given an opportunity to compete at Gothenburg Horse Show this year and they have blossomed. Dahlin is one of those, showing tremendous talent when steering her mare into fifth place in only the fourth international outing of their career together.

Last man in was Benjamin Werndl, and the crowd watched intently as he consistently racked up strong scores with Daily Mirror, but when 86.170 went up on the board he had to settle for second place behind Dufour. He was far from disappointed; in fact he said he was “super happy” because this week he has made a breakthrough in piaffe which has sometimes been problematic with this horse. “I’m looking forward to the next competitions now. I always said he’s the best horse I ever sat on; the only thing was the piaffe could be better, but if he does it like he did today, then who knows what can happen!”

With just one more Western European League qualifier left to run, in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in three weeks’ time, many of the riders are thinking ahead to the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas (USA) in April. Dufour explained that she won’t compete there as she is aiming both Cassidy and her younger horse Bohemian, who topped the opening leg of the WEL series on home ground in Herning (DEN) last October, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

But both runner-up Werndl and third-placed Wandres have it clearly in their sights – if they get the opportunity. “I’d like to go to both Vegas and Tokyo! I have two horses so I will have to discuss with our national trainers. If I go to Vegas I will go with Famoso,” Werndl said.

But as Wandres explained it’s not just as easy as that. As it stands, German riders hold the top four places on the WEL leaderboard of which just two will be permitted to join their compatriot and defending champion, Isabell Werth, in the battle for the 2020 title. Top of the table ahead of the 11th and last leg is Jessica von Bredow Werndl, followed by her brother Benjamin Werndl, then Wandres, and in fourth is Helen Langehanenberg.

“I’m proud to be German but sometimes it’s not so easy in the dressage ring to be a German rider because there’s always a big fight for the three spots for the World Cup Final. And there’s one more show in March so everything is still open and we have to fight until the end. But if I have a chance to go for sure I will take it because it’s a dream for me, especially with this horse. We came into the Grand Prix sport together and this would be something special!” — Frederic Wandres (GER)

Result here.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Dufour Destroys the Opposition with Sensational Performance in Gothenburg

Photo: Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaard’s Cassidy. (FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst)

Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour (26) and Atterupgaard’s Cassidy brought the Swedish crowd to their feet with a spectacular performance to win the eighth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League in Gothenburg (SWE). The pair that claimed individual bronze and team silver at last summer’s Longines FEI European Championships in the same city pinned reigning series champion Germany’s Isabell Werth (48) and Swedish star Patrik Kittel (41) into second and third in the Grand Prix, and they did it again. But this time their winning margin was even more emphatic as the dynamic Danish duo earned a whopping score of 88.200.

That was put into perspective when multi-medaled Werth (Emilio) said: “There is no shame in finishing second on 85 percent!” while Kittel (Delaunay OLD) was ecstatic about his mark of 83.615 that put him in third – “an all-time personal best for me!” he said. Dufour could hardly believe what she had achieved.

“I was nervous because this was the first time for us to do this Freestyle floor-plan. Cassidy can be spooky because he’s a very sensitive horse, but today he was so calm. He was with me every moment of the way and I’ll never forget that standing ovation!” — Cathrine Dufour DEN (1st)

The Swedish spectators held their breath as the Danish partnership performed in complete harmony before exploding with excitement when the horse and rider drew to a halt. Dufour said that Denmark’s Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein has helped her really raise her game over the last few months. “Rune Willum was my trainer for 15 years and he was like my second father, but in December I started working with Nathalie, and now she is my rock!” she explained after posting her second personal-best score of the weekend.

The result has moved her up to 12th place on the Western European League leaderboard from which the top nine will qualify for the Final in Paris (FRA) in April. Dufour is hoping to make the cut even though she doesn’t intend to compete at the last qualifier in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in two weeks’ time, but Werth will definitely be at the Dutch fixture with Emilio whose confidence and character continues to grow. “Give us one more year to make his canter as good as the piaffe/passage and you will see what more we can do!” said the happy German rider who intends to defend her title at the French finale with her top ride, the Olympic and European gold-medal-winning mare Weihegold.

She’ll be the toughest nut to crack, but Dufour showed that the winds of change are blowing once again through the top ranks of international Dressage and that she and her fabulous chestnut gelding are a major force to be reckoned with.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Dufour Dominates at Opening Leg in Herning

Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy. (FEI/Everhorsephoto.com)

Danish fans had everything to shout about when their home-grown superstar partnership of 25-year-old Cathrine Dufour and her wonderful 14-year-old gelding, Atterupgaards Cassidy, claimed victory at the opening leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage 2017/2018 Western European League in Herning (DEN). Although the 14-strong field included Isabell Werth who took triple-gold at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden eight weeks ago, the 48-year-old German rider wasn’t competing her no 1 ride, the great mare Weihegold. So the reigning FEI World Cup™ Dressage champion had to settle for runner-up spot with Don Johnson FRH ahead of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Delaunay OLD in third, mirroring exactly the results of the preliminary Grand Prix.

There was a huge sense of achievement for Dufour.

“The last time I competed in a World Cup was two years ago, and we finished second-last. So I wanted to improve on that for sure. Isabell has beaten me the whole season, but yesterday and today my horse was so relaxed and easy. And yes, I did smile during the Freestyle, because if you practice something at home and finally bring it into the ring then you feel really good about it.” — Cathrine Dufour (DEN)

Going sixth of the 14 starters, Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Paridon Magi posted a leading mark of 76.320 but were overtaken by another of Denmark’s rising talents, 23-year-old Anna Zibrandtsen who held the advantage with Arlando at the halfway break when putting 76.945 on the board.

And the standard just kept rising as the last six took their turn, Agnete Kirk Thinggaard, a member of the Danish silver medal winning team in Gothenburg alongside Zibrandtsen, Dufour and Anna Kasprazak, scoring 78.500 with Jojo Az before Werth changed the whole tempo of the competition when posting 83.755.

The sometimes naughty “Johnny”, as Don Johnson is better known, was clearly on top form, throwing a buck before entering the arena and then producing a really fluent Freestyle, full of power and collection. Werth knew she had thrown down the gauntlet to the remaining four left to go, but, second-last into the ring, Dufour didn’t flinch. A high degree of difficulty in the early stages of their floorplan suggested a big score might well be on the way. And so it was, with the loveliest walk included in their beautifully executed test for the massive winning mark of 85.945, all five judges putting the pair in pole position and the crowd rising to their feet in sheer delight.

Swedish showman, Patrik Kittel, gave it his best when last to go, and his mark of 81.095 pinned Denmark’s Daniel Bachmann Andersen and Blue Hors Zack back into fourth spot, but the Danish party had already begun. And now Dufour is having a whole new re-think about her competition programme over the coming months.

“I didn’t plan to do the World Cup season, but of course I’m getting a bit hungry after this.” — Cathrine Dufour (DEN)

Dufour also earned Grand Prix Special and Freestyle bronze at this summer’s Europeans. She wants to do her best by the wonderful Cassidy, however, who has been her loyal partner since she was competing at Junior level.

“I didn’t train with him since Gothenburg until the last few days before coming here to Herning. My end goal is always to take care of him, so I better go home and make a plan and discuss things with my coach. We will see….” — Cathrine Dufour (DEN)

Herning certainly provided a great start to the new season, and Ground Jury President, Denmark’s Susanne Baarup, couldn’t hold back her emotion about a day of fantastic sport. It wasn’t just the home win that brought tears to her eyes.

“When it came down to the last five riders I almost had to take some tissues out. It was really an honour to judge such good riders, and Cathrine’s win was well deserved. This has been a fantastic show for her.” — Susanne Baarup (Ground Jury President)

Jens Traberg, Show Director Dressage at Herning: “This was the first time to have this World Cup qualifier in Herning – we have wanted to bring it here for a long time.”

Patrik Kittel SWE (3rd): “The audience here in Herning was really amazing; they were really supportive of everyone, not just the Danish competitors. It’s important to make the audience part of the competition – I have no problem if they start clapping before the end of the test because it makes the competition more fun and they are getting involved.”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI European Dressage Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2011, Broholm Castle (DEN)

TRIUMPHANT GERMANS MAKE IT FIVE-TIME GOLD, HAT-TRICK FOR ROTHENBERGER by Louise Parkes

Young Rider Individual medallists (L to R): Cathrine Dufour DEN (silver), Sanneke Rothenberger GER (gold) and Carina Nevermann Torup DEN (bronze). Rothenberger also won Young Rider Team and Freestyle gold. Photo: FEI/Ridehesten.

Lausanne (SUI), 24 JULY 2011 – German riders had it almost all their own way when claiming both the Young Rider and Junior team titles as well as three of the individual gold medals on offer at the FEI European Dressage Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2011 at Broholm Castle in Denmark this weekend.  But the host nation did themselves proud when finishing a close second in both team events and then coming out on top in today’s Junior Freestyle Championship won by Nanna Skodborg Merrald and Millibar.

For Germany’s Sanneke Rothenberger these championships have been a particular triumph, as the 18 year old daughter of Olympians Sven and Gonnelien Rothenberger continues an ever-upward trajectory in her already impressive career.  She won team gold as a Pony rider, and in 2007 made history in the German Youth Riders Championship when clinching silver in both the Pony and Junior divisions.  She won team and individual gold at the FEI European Junior Championships in 2009 and last year claimed team gold and individual silver at Young Rider level.  This weekend, with her 10 year old Oldenburg gelding Deveraux which she has been competing for the last four years, she stepped up her game even further when taking Young Rider Team, Individual and Freestyle gold, firmly placing herself at the forefront of her sport and displaying an awesome talent in the making.

HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark, the dedicated and active patroness of the Danish Equestrian Federation, attended the event and today the FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, was also at Broholm Castle to present the medals to the winning riders. It has been a testing few days in every respect, as the weather did all it could to disrupt this year’s fixture with pouring rain and high winds creating a less-than-perfect competition environment.  But the next generation of top-class dressage competitors rode through it with determination and emerged triumphant in the end.

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