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  22 Oct 2017   Lars

In front of an amazing audience and at her home turf in Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning, Denmark, Cathrine Dufour succeeded in beating the European Champion and the world ranking number 1. Isabell Werth for the second day in a row. This great achievement secured the Danish dressage star and her top horse Atterupgaards Cassidy the victory in the first qualifier of this season’s World Cup. Upon 10 years in Odense, it was the first time the event took place in Herning, and all the riders both Danish and the international competitors were praising the surroundings and the facilities of this show. 3rd place went to the dressage darling of the audience, Patrik Kittel from Sweden. 

Photo: Ulf Helgstrand (president, The Danish Equestrian Federation), Anna Kasprzak (ECCO), Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy, Susanne Baarup Christensen (president of the ground jury) and Jens Trabjerg (Organizer World Cup Herning)

Dufour eminent at home turf
The crowd in the arena, had great expectations to Cathrine and Cassidy after the victory Saturday in the World Cup Grand Prix, and the pressure didn’t get less after the world’s number one, Isabell Werth completed her freestyle test final on 83,755%. The audience went completely silent when the Danish international dressage star entered the arena – looking very determined and concentrated. And it was nothing less than a world class test Dufour and Cassidy produced. With an impressive score of 85,945%, they did not only claim victory, but also beat their own personal record. 

Cathrines quote:”Wauv what an arena – it is just crazy. And what a fantastic ride I had. Cassidy can be a bit on the edge, especially in an indoor arena, but he was there with me, all the time. And beating Isabell Werth was fantastic - even though she did not bring her top horse Weihegold. And to beat my own personal record again – cool! Let us see what the season brings. Our next big goal is definitely the World Equestrian Games in September” Cathrine cheered after her ride.

For the second day in a row, the world’s most winning dressage rider Isabell Werth, had to accept ending up in second place beaten by Dufour. Although the German top rider delivered a very beautiful and harmonious program, with only microscopic errors, once again she had to find herself in a place she is not usually accustomed to - second place behind Dufour. Even so, she was still quite happy with the freestyle test. 

“It was perfect, and I am really happy with Johnny – he did a superb job. The arena is amazing, and I am really happy to have been joining this show”, Werth commented after her test. 

It was perfect, and I am really happy with Johnny – he did a superb job. Cathrine did a very good job, and she has really done a great job with Cassidy, bringing him from junior level and all the way up to Grand Prix. It is amazing to ride in that arena. The facilities here are top class, and the audience is fantastic and fair to all competing riders.,I am really happy to have joined this show” Werth commented after her test.

Second time in a rough 3rd place went to for Sweden
Patrick Kittel is truly loved by the Danish audience, and the ever-smiling Swedish dressage star was last to go in the arena with his horse Delaunay Old. He gave the crowd a great performance to end these 5 days with world class riding in Herning. This equestrian ranked number 18 in the world, was on the bronze winning Swedish national team at the European Championship this summer, and in Jyske Bank Boxen Patrick and “Dude” (Delauney Old) made another great test in their freestyle. The judges awarded him 83,755% placing him in 3rd place for the second day in a row. 

”I am really happy with the results we have made here, and this was our best result so far. The surroundings and the audience here are just fantastic” Patrik said. 

Daniel and Zack broke the 80% barrier!
Already in Saturday’s Grand Prix test, Blue Hors rider, Daniel Bachmann Andersen and the breeding stallion Blue Hors Zack, showed great form. And they upheld the high level in the freestyle test Sunday. Riding a very convincing program both judges as well as the audience liked what they saw. The judges places the pair fourth with a well deserved total of 80,305%.

”The test was not perfect, but it is so great that we are constantly improving. Things are really beginning to work for us and pay off in the arena.  The Jyske Bank Boxen is a fantastic arena and the crowd was really great.  Our goal is definitely the World Cup final in Paris” Daniel expressed.

Danish top performances in Jyske Bank Boxen 
Agnete Kirk Thinggaard and Jojo AZ, part of the European Championship silver winning Danish dressage team in August, showed a very harmonious and beautiful freestyle to the music of Robbie Williams. The audience really loved this Danish combination, which they showed by clapping them all the way up the centerline. Their freestyle earned them a great score of 78,500 %, which secured them sixth place in the freestyle final.  

Anne Zibrandtsen and Arlando, who were also part of the Danish silver winning team at the European Championship, was the last Danish combination before the break. They are still a fairly new combination and it was just their second time doing freestyle together. Even so they produced a very convincing ride and once again the audience applauded the combination all the way up the centerline.  Also the judges were pleased and awarded them with a total score of 76,945%, ranking them seventh in todays final.

”He was really there for me all the way.  It is our first indoor show together. We had a bit of a rocky test yesterday, so going in there today and delivering so much more is just a great feeling, and I am very pleased. We are still not that familiar with each other and I still need to get to know him even better, so it is just amazing when we get a ride like that”, Anna Zibrandtsen reported afterwards.

Helene Melsen and Aston Martin was the first Danish combination in the arena and they had a really good start of their freestyle. Aston Martin is very submissive and showed some very nice canter work. Overall they showed a really good test, but unfortunately had a small error in one of the flying changes.

“It was a good test, there were no big mistakes so overall I am quite happy. The atmosphere in the arena is really intense, but in a good way and I really likes riding in there because the audience such a great the atmosphere in there” Melsen commented right after her ride.

Five amazing days of top riding in Herning
World Cup Herning is arranged by  Dansk VarmblodDansk Ride Forbund and Equitour Aalborg in collaboration with Sport Event DenmarkHerning Kommune and MCH Messecenter Herning. It is the first time the event is taking place in Herning and everything went according to plan at the debut that has presented five days of top riding and show events.

“We feel we have had a really good start here in Herning. Upon 10 good years in Odense, we felt that the shows and the dreams had grown bigger. So it is great to experience, how the facilities here in Herning, give us the opportunity to offer the riders, the audience as well as all the sponsors the outstanding surroundings that are needed to ensure the future of World Cup events. The dream is to be able to expand the show in the future with a Show jumping World Cup as well. We would like to extend a warm thank you to all of our partners, sponsors and volunteers that have made this event possible, and also a big thank you to the riders and the audience for creating a fantastic atmosphere. We are already looking forward to seeing everybody again next year” says the show organizing team.

”Herning Kommune has yet again hosted a big riding event, and I am both very proud and satisfied with the outcome of this event. At the same time, I am pleased to see the successful sporting results of the riders. I would like to thank the organizing team of this event for the trust they have showed Herning Kommune. When we take action to have such big events,it is part our overall strategy to show the world that Herning Kommune is a great place to stay, live and work – and to take time off. I think we are very successful in doing so.” says Lars Krarup (V) mayor of Herning Municipality.

"Herning had in the autumn break saddled up to a star-filled World Cup qualification in dressage. In addition to the FEI World Cup dressage, the event also featured a lot of international jumping and dressage classes. Herning Kommune, The Danish Equestrian Federation, Equitour Aalborg and Danish Warmblood had gone out of their way to give the spectators an experience beyond the usual. We have some experience in riders, as we have had riders here in June and August. They did not bring horses though – they bought bikes when we hosted the European Championships in triathlon and cycling. This week we had riders again only this time it was the most skilled riders and horses from both Denmark and abroad," says Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark that partners the event.

“I wish to congratulate The Danish Equestrian Federation, Danish Warmblood and Equitour Aalborg, on their new and visionary collaboration, with which they have implemented and completed a fantastic show with top horse riding. At the same time, I wish to thank all exhibitors and the many spectators for their support to this event. We are already looking forward to next year’s FEI World Cup” says Georg Sørensen, CEO at MCH A/S.