News at Sweden International Horse Show
Double European bronze individually, European team silver and World Cup victory in front of the German superstar Isabell Werth. The 25-year-old Danish dressage rider Cathrine Dufour has had an amazing year. Now she is ready for the Saab Top 10 Dressage competition in Stockholm and Sweden International Horse Show.
”I’m really looking forward to riding in front of the Swedish audience again. They were absolutely crazy last year. It was the greatest experience ever for me at that time”, says Dufour.
With 14-year-old Atterupgaards Cassidy, Cathrine Dufour has taken the dressage world by storm. She is currently ranked number five in the world and was hugely successful at the European Championship in Gothenburg.
In Denmark, Cathrine is nominated as “Sports person of the year”, the country’s finest sports prize, among candidates such as tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, soccer player Christian Eriksen and the national soccer team ladies.
”It has been an incredible year,” says Dufour, who believes that Sweden International Horse Show played an important role in her carreer.
“Stockholm last year really was the show that was the beginning of entering the next level. Before that I had some problems with the indoor shows because Cassidy got scared. But despite the tense atmosphere in Friends Arena we did really good. That was a boost of self-confidence for us.”
When winning the World Cup at home in Herning in October, Dufour and Cassidy scored personal best at 85,945 percent and beat legend, world number one and Euro-Gold Medallist Isabell Werth.
“It was really special. First of all, to win at home. But also the fact that we were good enough to beat Isabell. We have been so close several times, and now it finally happened, says Dufour, and continues:
”I passed Isabell on my way out from the arena and she said ‘well done, it’s fair sport’. I was over the moon that day.”
After Herning, Cassidy has had a calmer period. Saab Top 10 will be the next show and Dufour hopes she’ll be able to give the German dressage queen a tough competition again.
”But it depends, of course, on which horse she’ll bring. Weihegold is almost impossible to beat and Emilio seems to be in a really good shape right now”, Dufour says, thinking of Werth’s and Emilio’s World Cup victory in Lyon last week.
In total, the riders compete for more than 158 000 €, plus a Volkswagen car, in the Saab Top 10 Dressage. An unusually high price within the dressage world.
”It’s amazing with the sponsor that makes this contribution to the sport,” says Dufour.
She hopes to be in the top when the prize money is distributed.
”I would use the money to buy a new horse. It’s important for me to find a new Cassidy if I want to stay in the top sport, and of course I want to do that.”