Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour produced a spectacular victory with Bohemian at the opening leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League in Herning (DEN) on Sunday 20 October 2019, where Germany’s Benjamin Werndl lined up second with Daily Mirror 9 and compatriot Helen Langehanenberg finished third with Damsey FRH.
Dufour already looked highly competitive after a personal-best performance with her rising star in Saturday's Grand Prix. And the nine-year-old gelding (by Bordeaux x Samarant) further demonstrated his colossal potential when setting the big winning score of 88.190 in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
In the Kur to Music she didn’t disappoint her many fans. Scoring 9 and 9,5 for the rhythmical passage and the same for passage-piaffe transitions she toped the mark with 10 for harmony and choreography. As the pair came to a halt in front of judge at C: Susanne Baarup, Denmark the entire audience rose to its feet applauding wildly. And their enthusiasm increased, when the scoreboard lit up with their score of 88,190%
"I am very, very happy and yesterday was truly amazing," Cathrine Dufour remarked after the prizegiving. "I have only done this freestyle three times, so I am just over the moon, and I think the sky is the limit for this horse. The Danish audience is stunning with the standing ovation after my test."
As Cathrine was fourth last to go, the rider and the home crowed had some anxious moments as Benjamin Werndl scored a personal best of 84,545% on Daily Mirror (Damon Hill x Florestan I). The pair had their World Cup debut in Herning last year, and he was very pleased to be back at the highly praised venue.
Last year Germanys Helen Langehanenberg came second at the opening leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup in Herning with her now 17-year-old partner Damsey FRH (Dressage Royal- Ritual).
"He is in perfect form, bucking and enjoying himself in the stalls," she explained. "He is very fresh and motivated, and to the end of the test kind of hot, but I prefer this. I am so happy to sit here again, and I am very happy for this show and my third place. I would love to be in Las Vegas, and I will go for it. I really like the show here in Herning the audience is great, and the arena is the same, I would love to be back next year," Langehanenberg emphasized.
Cathrine Dufour talked about the future and her only 9-year-old partner Bohemian:
"Of course, the marks are very nice, but I am very proud of the way he is developing. I am looking for him to stay in the same frame and be more secure in the arena. He felt way more safe and secure in the arena today, she remarked.
She is not going to try to qualify Bohemian for the Las Vegas 2020 Final, because she says it will be too much for him in a short space of time, especially when she has the 2020 Olympic Games in her sights. “I want to have both of them (Cassidy and Bohemian) ready for Tokyo. I’ve taken it quite easy on Bohemian to improve his frame and his strength, I’m just still trying to balance him. But the day I can start really riding him forward - I can only imagine what he can do!”
"It was fantastic," stated judge at C Susanne Baarup at the press conference. She truly enjoyed judging the freestyle. It was not an easy task judging the freestyle, because of the high quality among the rides.
"It is just small details separating the riders," said Baarup. "It was wonderful sitting there, we almost got tears in our eyes because of the music, the choreography, the degree of difficulty just lifted the competition to a higher level. It was amazing," she added.
Photos © Ridehesten
Scores: 2019 CDI-W Herning
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2019-2020 World Cup Season
Dufour and Bohemian Post 83.022% in 2019 CDI-W Herning Grand Prix