Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour from Denmark entered her 18-year-old gelding Atterupgaards Cassidy as her partner in the opening leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ in Herning – AND WON!
The pressure was on
In 2017 the Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy won the FEI Dressage World Cup™ at the same venue and tonight in front of an enthusiastic home crowd they showed a foot perfect freestyle owning them 87,115% from the five judges. The home crowd rose to their feet – cheering her and Cassidy on. Despite the pressure form teammate Carina Cassøe Krüth’s amazing freestyle just before Cathrine.
” With Carina’s score, there was quite big pressure on us when we entered the ring,” Cathrine explained afterwards.
“But we had some extra few seconds before the start, so when I picked up canter, he felt really sharp. And then the Danish crowd is fantastic. It is just breath-taking. Since this is one of Cassidy’s last shows, it was special to go in there and show that he is still sharp. I know that he is in really good shape, and he can do it – and he really proved that today. I am super proud of him.”
You may also like to read: The ABC of Cathrine Dufour: 9 tips for you and your horse
Dancing into 2nd place
Carina Cassøe Krüth and her 10-year-old mare Heiline’s Danciera by Fürstenball danced together in their difficult freestyle, making everything seem easy and smooth. With a score of 86,395% her personal best, she ended second after her teammate from the Olympics in Tokyo, Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour.
“Danciera is just a super good friend in there,” said a very happy Carina.
“She is so honest, and she does everything I want from her, and even more. She is just amazing. When the audience started clapping it was quite early, so I thought ‘well you are going to do that for a while’, but it was very cool, and I think the Danish audience knows by now that they can applause because she likes it.”
Super proud Dutch rider
The Dutch rider Dinja van Liere and her only 9-year-old stallion Hermes by Easy Game did their first indoor show in Herning, and she was very pleased with her ride in the freestyle earning her a third place with a score of 84,360%.
“I was very pleased with him, and he did a very good job,” she said with a smile.
“Yesterday we had a couple of mistakes, but it was the first time we did the short Grand Prix. He doesn’t have that much experience, so I was very happy today and he did a really good freestyle test. He was a bit impressed by the audience, but he was very cool in there. He is very handsome, and he knows it. I am just very proud of him.”
Debut of the short Grand Prix
The FEI Dressage World Cup™ in Herning was also the debut of the new version of the short Grand Prix – this short Grand Prix will be used throughout the World Cup season. A version that Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour is pleased with.
“I am really positive about it, as I find it horse-friendly that we can ride the short Grand Prix,” she explained. “Of course, you have to get out there from the very first second and a single mistake can cause a huge drop in the marks, but I am really pleased with it. I think it is very fun to do something else. I find it fun.”
Judge at C, Hans-Christian Matthiesen congratulated the riders with some wonderful freestyle test. On the short Grand Prix, he commented: “I look for the good flow in a test and in this test, I found it. It makes the sport more exciting, but it is a tough test.”
Praise to the venue and organizers
The riders praised the organization, and the quality of the venue and stabling – the friendliness of everybody involved was highly applauded by the riders. Not the least Danish Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour.
“From a rider’s perspective, this is one of my favorite shows not only because it is in Denmark – but everything from the stables to the training areas. People are so friendly and always helpful. It is really a fantastic way to start the season.”
Dinja van Liere agreed with Dufour and commented: “I think this is a good first World Cup and really well organized. I think it puts a lot of pressure on the other shows to keep up with the high performance. It was very nice to be here, and I am going home with a wonderful feeling.”
2. Carina Cassøe Krüth (DEN) – Heiline’s Danciera 86,395%
3. Dinja van Liere (NED) – Hermes 84,360%
4. Helen Langehanenberg (GER) – Annabelle 81,215%
5. Nanna Skodborg Merrald (DEN) – Blue Hors Zack 80,880%