A year ago, Denmark’s Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour rode the up-and-coming Bohemian to victory in both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the opening leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2020/2021 Western European League. With the pandemic biting hard, the event was staged at the Danish National Equestrian Centre in Vilhelmsborg instead of its traditional venue in Herning, and it would be one of just two legs to be held before the series had to be abandoned as the world ground to a halt.
By Louise Parkes / FEI
This Saturday, 23 October, the action returns to Herning for the opening round of the 2021/2022 season which includes nine qualifying legs in total. And this time Cathrine will ride Atterupgaards Cassidy, the wonderful little chestnut gelding whose last big international win was at the penultimate leg of the 2019/2020 Western European League in Gothenburg, Sweden in February 2020.
It was the second successive FEI World Cup™ victory at the Scandinavium Arena for the sensational pair who, in 2017, exploded onto the world stage when taking bronze in both the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle at the FEI European Championships. That day, Cathrine paid tribute to the brilliant little chestnut gelding that has brought her right to the very pinnacle of the sport.
“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 centerline”, she said that day.
Cassidy is now 18 this year and still in flying form, so Cathrine is bringing him out again this week for what she says may be one of his last shows.[adrotate group=”16″]
Host nations top line-up
The host nation contingent for this first qualifier of the new season includes all the Danish dressage athletes who lined out at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in August where the team finished just off the podium and where Dufour also finished fourth individually with Bohemian.
Carina Cassøe Krüth (Heiline’s Danciera) and Nanna Skodberg Merrald (Blue Hors Zack) will partner their Tokyo rides as will Charlotte Heering (Bufranco) who was reserve athlete at the Games, and they will be joined by Anna Kasprzak (Rock Star 13) and Lone Bang Larsen (Thranegaardens Rostov) when flying the home flag.
You may also like to read: The ABC of Cathrine Dufour: 9 tips for you and your horse
Strong German attendance
However, Germany is more than well-represented by horsewoman extraordinaire Ingrid Klimke (Franziskus 15), Helen Langehanenberg (Annabelle 110) and Frederic Wandres (Hot Hit 3) on the startlist.
Klimke is a five-time Olympian and multiple champion in the sport of Eventing, and was vying for selection in both Eventing and Dressage for the Tokyo Games until an accident earlier this year saw that dream shattered.
Now well-recovered, and just weeks after taking team silver and individual fifth place at the FEI Eventing European Championships 2021 in Avenches, Switzerland, Klimke brings the 13-year-old dressage stallion Franziskus with which she won the Grand Prix at Dortmund CDI4* in March 2020.
Three months earlier the pair finished second to compatriots Isabell Werth and Frederic Wandres in the Grand Prix and the Special on home ground at Stuttgart, and there will be many eyes following their progress at the Danish fixture this weekend.
How to watch
It’s all about to get underway with the Grand Prix taking place at the Jyske Bank Boxen Arena in Herning tomorrow Friday at 19.00 local time and the points-deciding Freestyle on Saturday at 18.30.
If you are not fortunate enough to have tickets for the actual event, you can as Danish viewer watch the Freestyle on dr.dk – whereas international viewers can follow the World Cup on Clipmyhorse.tv.