Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour & Cassidy Win Gothenburg World Cup Freestyle, Germany’s Benjamin Wendl Runner-up on Personal Best for Daily Mirror

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Cathrine Dufour riding Cassidy at Bothenburg. © 2020 Pelle Wedenmark/dressage-news.com

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Feb. 22,2020–Cathrine Dufour and Cassidy recovered from a shaky Grand Prix to capture the World Cup Freestyle Saturday with a shot at going to the Final in Las Vegas if she goes to the last Western European qualifier next month. Germany’s Benjamin Werndl on Daily Mirror posted a personal best score to be runner-up and likely cement a start in the Las Vegas Final.

Cathrine and the 17-year Danish Warmblood gelding that she has partnered from a youngster was awarded 87.860% for the victory, the 28-year-old Danish team rider’s second win in two starts on the highly competitive Western European circuit.

Germany’s Benjamin Werndl and Daily Mirror, a 16-year-old Westfalen gelding scored 86.170% for second place, beating their previous best of 84.705% set in Salzburg, Austria last December. The pair had won the Grand Prix Friday after Cathrine and Cassidy made several mistakes including going off course.

Frederic Wandres, also of Germany, and Duke of Britain, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, were third on  81.465%.

Benjamin Werndl and Daily Mirror at Gothenburg World Cup. © 2020 Pelle Wedenmark/dressage-news.com

The victory for Cathrine gave her 20 points to add to the 20 she earned earlier in the circuit. The 11th and final Western European qualifier for Las Vegas is in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Mar. 12-15.

Cathrine and Cassidy competed as a Junior in 2010 and went on to dominate European Young Rider Championships in 2012 ans 2013. She competed for Denmark at the 2016 Olympics then won individual and freestyle bronze medals at 2017 European Championships and repeated as individual bronze medalist at 2019 Europeans.

“I’ve had him 10 years now and he’s really special for me and my family,” said Cathrine. “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 because he’s 17 years old and you never know what happens. He feels great and is super-sound, but you just have remember to enjoy every single ride.” 

Benjamin Werndl stands second in the Western European League, behind his kid sister Jessica von Bredow-Werndl who has not yet decided whether to go to Las Vegas.

Nine combinations are selected from Western Europe for the Final lineup of 18 riders and horses, with no more than three from one nation. German superstar Isabell Werth also has a guaranteed start as the defending champion and will be seeking her fourth straight World Cup, the first to do so.

“I’m proud to be German but sometimes it’s not so easy in the dressage ring to be a German rider because there’s always a big fight for the three spots for the World Cup Final,” said Frederic, the third placed pair. “And there’s one more show in March so everything is still open and we have to fight until the end. But if I have a chance to go for sure I will take it because it’s a dream for me, especially with this horse. We came into the Grand Prix sport together and this would be something special.”

Results:

World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle

            Judges:     Christoph Hess Hans-Christian Matthiesen Annette Fransen Iacobaeus Lars Andersson Andrew Gardner    
Place   Score %   Nation Athlete Horse     E H C M B   Spectators
1.   87.860   DEN Cathrine Dufour Atterupgaards Cassidy     88.475 87.425 86.575 86.400 90.425   83.121 (2)
2.   86.170   GER Benjamin Werndl Daily Mirror 9     88.575 84.350 85.725 84.750 87.450   84.173 (1)
3.   81.465   GER Frederic Wandres Duke of Britain     82.425 82.475 80.175 78.875 83.375   78.064 (4)
4.   81.030   GBR Charlotte Fry Dark Legend     81.475 80.175 81.550 79.650 82.300   78.802 (3)
5.   79.845   SWE Sandra Dahlin Ichi     80.775 80.025 79.300 78.575 80.550   76.968 (5)
6.   74.145   SWE Paulinda Friberg Di Lapponia T     75.925 74.125 75.175 70.750 74.750   73.876 (6)
7.   72.755   SWE Natalie Oldfors Mickey M     75.825 72.400 71.800 71.225 72.525   71.500 (8)
8.   71.860   SWE Jeanna Hogberg Duendecillo P     66.600 73.775 73.200 72.750 72.975   71.177 (9)
9.   71.115   NED Margo Timmermans Catch Me     73.650 71.825 68.625 70.625 70.850   69.437 (10)
10.   70.125   BEL Marc Peter Spahn Elias 494     71.950 71.200 70.800 68.375 68.300   71.513 (7)
11.   68.705   NED Nars Gottmer Figaro     65.200 71.050 70.625 70.675 65.975   69.335 (11)
12.   65.835   RSA Tanya Seymour Ramoneur 6     64.825 65.325 65.350 68.850 64.825   67.979 (12)
13.   58.310   NED Saskia Maertens Legend of Loxley     57.775 57.625 56.325 61.525 58.300   64.772 (13)