Dufour Strikes Back and Wins Individual Test Gold at 2013 European Young Riders Championships

Mon, 07/15/2013 - 00:29
2013 European Junior and Young Riders Championships

Danish 2012 European Young Rider Champion Cathrine Dufour struck back with a vengeance in the Young Riders individual test and claimed the coveted spot on the highest step of the podium and the individual test gold medal at the 2013 European Young Riders Championships in Compiegne, France, on Saturday 13 July 2013.

After a not so successful team championship test on Thursday, spectators were sitting on the edge of their seat to see how the talented Dufour would manage her hot cracker, Atterupgaards Cassidy (by Caprimond x Donnerhall), in the individual test. The skilled rider, who abounds with talent and feeling in the saddle, was able to keep the lid on the cooker and produced a fantastic ride that earned her a score of 77.789%.

Cassidy was rhythmical in trot, with outstanding self carriage and bending in the voltes and lateral movement. The extended trot on the long diagonal was excellent. The collected walk was super with no tension whatsoever. The canter pirouette left was better than the one in the team test, the right one was ok but stayed a bit earthbound. The four tempi changes were correct but could have had more forwardness. The final canter extension was powerful but the change at the end of the diagonal was not on the marker.

Dufour scored 77.789% but only ranked first with two judges, while two more placed her second and one third. Her marks ranged from 73.684 (Kogan) to 80.395 (Umbach). The panel of judges for the individual test consisted of Judet (FRA), Fransen Iacobaeus (SWE), Kogan (RUS), Umbach (LUX) and Sanders (NED). The five struggled to find unison in their scoring and disagreed on the ranking of many of the riders. While in the end most of the riders ended up in the right position on the ranking, the individual marks bounced all over the place.

The silver medal went to German Juliette Piotrowski on her 8-year old Oldenburg branded Sir Diamond (by Sandro Hit x De Niro). Her black gelding is a very flashy mover with fantastic freedom in the shoulder and a scopey front leg, behind he is quick but the hind legs are often far out, especially in the trot half pass to the right and ground covering extensions. Piotrowski had her horse more energetically in front of her leg compared to the team test, yet she still rushed a bit in the half pass to the left. However, she rode an outstanding extended walk, the colleced was ok. The canter pirouettes were top class, but the three tempi changes could have been straighter in the body. Sir Diamond should foam and chew a bit more in the mouth. The combination scored a whopping 76.421, which made her the reserve champions. Her marks ranged from 73.553 (Judet) to 79.342 (Iacobaeus).

Dutch Stephanie Kooijman and her 10-year old Dutch warmblood gelding Winston (by OO Seven x Cocktail) finally captured an individual medal at a European Junior/Young Riders Championships. The combination appeared on the international scene in 2010 and has been one of the high scoring pairs both nationally and internationally. However, each time at a Europeans the scores were not high enough for individual glory. Their attempt for a medal failed in Broholm and Berne, but in Compiegne it was bull's eye. The duo started with great trot work and super extensions, though there was a loss of rhythm in one of them. Winston dragged his feet in the rein back and hit the fence. The collected walk was not so clear in the rhythm at the beginning but improved later on. The extended walk was relaxed but there could have been more overstep. The four tempi changes were beautifully uphill, the threes were ok but should have been straighter. The left pirouette was super, the right one had little scope and jump. Kooijman finished on a 76.395% but her marks had staggering differences with 73.158 (Kogan) as low mark and a huge 82.237 (Umbach) as high score.

Dutch Anne Meulendijks and her talented bright bay Dutch gelding Avanti (by United x Farrington) finished fourth with 74.789%. The horse has a great ground quality in trot and walk but should have shown more bending in the left volte and the contact with the bit should be lighter. The pirouettes were lovely as well as the three tempi changes. The horse did get a bit stuck in his flying change at K following the extended canter.

Swedish Marina Mattsson completed the top five with 74.684%. Aboard the promising dapply grey Oldenburg gelding Cassio (by Conteur x Calato I) the already professional dressage rider raked in points with her confident and quiet style of riding. The horse has a great silhouette but still needs to develop more strength behind to carry himself better, especially in the voltes. The walk was very well regulated, the pirouettes small, but the left one needed more lift and there was a loss of balance in the one to the right. The three tempi changes were huge and the final extended canter powerful.

Text and Photos by Astrid Appels - No reproduction allowed

Eurodressage photographer Astrid Appels took photos of all combinations competing at the 2013 European Junior and Young Riders Championships. Contact us if you are interested in prints of your photos!

Related Link
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2013 European Junior/Young Riders Championships