By Birtt Carlsen
A small but enthusiastic crowd showed their appreciation towards the riders in a spectacular and thrilling opening of the FEI World Cup season at Vilhelmsborg in Denmark. Cathrine Dufour secured the victory in a nailbiting Grand Prix Freestyle against the world’s number one, Isabell Werth
With a personal best score on Bohemian, Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour, 28, set the scene for the remaining four riders in a thrilling FEI World Cup Freestyle presented by ECCO in the National Equestrian Centre Vilhelmsborg in Denmark. Cathrine and Bohemian moved with ease from piaffe into passage, dancing together to gain a score of 88.2% and set the bar very high for the other competitors.
Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Zaire-E did a splendid job chasing after the leading score. The elegant mare by Son de Niro did a foot-perfect test and did not miss a beat – and Jessica was rewarded with 9 from all five judges for her brilliant harmony with her horse. A score of 85.335% put them on third place.
The Blue Arena at Vilhelmsborg was filled with anticipation as the last rider entered. Isabell Werth looked determined and focused when she demonstrated why she is the world’s leading dressage rider and has been for the last 46 months (but two). In a very difficult freestyle, she and Emilio gave it their best, but today it just was not good enough to secure yet another victory. A score of 87.845% put her into second place.
Danish Carina Cassøe Krüth and her lovely Danish Warmblood mare Heiline’s Danciera by Fürstenball took fourth place after performing a difficult freestyle which they only rode for the second time. She was very pleased with the result of 84.455% and she hopes to have the possibility to get more experience participating in the World Cup series this winter.
Top five in FEI World Cup freestyle, presented ECCO:
1 DEN Cathrine Dufour/Bohemian 88.200%
2 GER Isabell Werth/Emilio 107 87.845%
3 GER Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl/Zaire-E 85.335%
4 DEN Carina Cassøe Krüth/Heiline's Danciera 84.455%
5 SWE Patrik Kittel/Delaunay Old 82.575%