Dufour made a dream come true

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Dedicated Danish dressage darling

First World Cup leg for the 2017/2018 season went to 25 yr old Danish Cathrine Dufour and her 14 yr old Danish Warmblood gelding Atterupgaards Cassidy by Caprimond / Donnerhall.

From yesterday´s Grand Prix they brought their lightness, ease and power for today´s Grand Prix Freestyle. No technical issues, a bit like "a walk in the park", eventhough every rider knows that this take just a bit more than "a walk in the park". First of all to get to this international top level, and then the next hurdle being able to stay there and develop at this level. This masterpiece Dufour and Cassidy showed the dressage world today. Building up their form and cofidence over the year, taking team silver medal and two individual medals at the recents European Championships in Gothenburg, going back for a pretty long rest, where Cassidy has done everything else than doing difficult Grand Prix exercises in the arena. And then about 2 weeks before this World Cup, a proper "haircut" was done for Cassidy, and then the focus and training started towards Herning - this (and of course a lot of other details) made the double winning Danish World Cup combination at Herning this weekend. 

Personal best for freestyle and double win beating Isabell Werth, and today with totally agreement for the judging panel. 

Enjoy the 85,945% ride here in this news from Danish national TV - LINK. 

Isabell Werth did what she could with her 2nd best horse Don Johnson today - no errors, technical difficult test, but just not enough to beat the young Danish combination.

From H2R point of view "we" would love to see new freestyle from Cathrine, as it needs a bit more young "cheeky" spirit. At the same time Werth also need a new freestyle for Don Johnson.

Placed 3rd was Swedish Patrik Kittel with Delaunay. They showed their new Guns N´ Roses freestyle which was artistic at a very high level, (scoring 3 x 10 and 2 x 9,8) and actually therefore kept him in front of Danish Daniel Bachmann Andersen with Blue Hors Zack. Mr. Kittel is a true master of freestyle, and his experience makes him able to make some very difficult lines during his test with always well chosen style of music. 

When it is the first time you watch a test like this, you just have to "adapt" to the new lines, and feel the music together with the rider and horse, but that part the judges seems to adapt to very well, as soon as the saw this new freestyle. 

Placed 4th today was a real Danish "runner up". Placed 5th in the Grand Prix with personal best for Daniel and Zack, they just continued their path forward and upwards into 4th place today. Maybe the Danish glasses from H2R were more well polished today, but they definitely got my 3rd place today. 

H2R comments during the test:

Blue Hors Zack DEN - super halt, direct out, nice off the ground extended trot, good trot / passage half passes, good piaffe slightly forward with nice easy transition, superb collected walk, good extended walk, good control for double pirouette, superb trough series with nice expression, so much more suspension/strength for passage. Super test.

+80% or not - what counts were the qualities and highlights during the test. Daniel and Zack brought themselves into a very nice position at the beginning of this 2017/2018 World Cup season, not even entered the next season with the eyes for WEG in Tryon. 

When Danish Agnete Kirk Thinggaard and her long time partner Jojo AZ shows a well performed test as today without any technical issues, you just feel your a part of it. The Robbie William music and the very difficult coreography with series on curved line into double pirouette and series out again, just makes you sit on the edge of the chair. Lovely freestyle mood. They finished as no 6 today.

Anna Zibrandtsen and Arlando are still new together, and yesterday they did not show a test as convincing as we saw them for the European Championships. Yesterday was as if the power and last motivation failed slightly. (Actually a great result, but for sure not at the level Anna had in mind before the competition). Today they were back on form with sparkling piaffe and passage tours. Finishing as no 7.

H2R comments during the test: 

Arlando DEN - just loves her modern choice of music. Superb halt, direct into passage, much more power for piaffe today, smooth half passes, good walk tour, nice 1st double pirouette, 2 times on curved track, superb 1 times at curved, 2nd double pirouette in lovely shape/quality, wauw final centerline, applauding crowd for the final meters.

See the results here.