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Leg 1 of 9 of the Western European league in the FEI World Cup™ Dressage series took place in Herning, Denmark over the weekend and local girl Cathrine Dufour snatched the top spot from the mighty Isabel Werth.
The first home rider to go was Helene Melsen and the twelve-year-old stallion Aston Martin, and the pair posted a respectable 70.23% with Cathrine Dufour still to take to the arena later on in the day. The Netherlands’ Katja Gevers’ 17 year-old gelding Thriller by Gribaldi is the horse she made her international debut on over six years ago, and it’s evident that the pair know each other inside out.
They managed a well-deserved 73.9% with a performance that was polished and energetic – with Thriller certainly showing absolutely no sign of his age!
Austalian Kristy Oatley and her horse du Soleil rode a good test with a few small mistakes here and there, but impressive transitions between the extensions and collections as well as very expressive half passes gave her a total of 74.6%.
Danish rider Anna Zibrandtsen on her 12 year-old stallion Arlando got the crowd going with her choice of chart hits, and the crowd clapped her down the centre line to her final halt. The test was ridden with real maturity and her absolute delight at the end of the test was enough to bring a smile to the most cynical of spectators!
The score of 76.9% shot her into the lead and hints at the incredibly bright future that this young rider has ahead of her in the Dressage arena.
Of course, when defending champion Isabel Werth entered the ring, everyone knew that Zibrandtsen’s first place position was looking precarious. Werth opted to ride her 16 year old gelding Don Jonhson rather than the wonderful mare Weihegold, with whom she won the series last year, but even that wasn’t enough to hold her back as she delivered a predictably excellent test and took her place at the top of the leaderboard with 83.7%
Cathrine Dufour was last to go for the Danish riders and Atterupgaards Cassidy and throughout her whole test looked to be challenging Isabell Werth for the top spot.
The 25 year old rider got a standing ovation from the home crowd as she left the arena and the roar from the crowd signalled the score of 85.9 which was just enough to knock Isabell Werth off the top spot. With only Patrik Kittel to go and a win in the GP yesterday for Dufour, nothing seemed likely to displace her.
Despite a good test, he couldn’t quite reach the heights of Dufour and came in at 81% and took third place.
Clearly up for more, Victorious Cathrine told us;
"I didn’t plan to do the World Cup season, but of course I’m getting a bit hungry after this!"
Western European League, Leg 2/9 - LYON (Nov.1 - 5, 2017)
Text by Sophie Baker
Images by Everhorsephoto.com