Making the journey to Grand Prix together, Cathrine Dufour and her 12-year old Danish warmblood Atterupgaards Cassidy took triple victory at the 2015 CDI Odense on 14 - 17 May 2015, winning the Under 25 Division with scores of 73.377% in the Inter II, 71.163% in the Short Grand Prix, and 73.925% in the Kur to Music.
The double European Young Rider champion Dufour stayed away from international competition for two years as the pair learnt the Grand Prix movements together under the supervision of their long time trainer Rune Willum. After a one year international show break, the pair made its CDI come back in Falsterbo in July 2014 and then waited until April 2015 to reappear at the CDI Nieuw en St Joosland. Odense was only their third Under 25 CDI. Dufour is using the Under 25 division as the perfect bridge towards senior Grand Prix.
"I’m very happy about our success in Odense," Cathrine told Eurodressage. "I think it has been very nice to compete in these Under 25 competitions while we find our rhythm. My horse Cassidy is very sensitive and that's why it can sometimes be a bit difficult to keep him calm during the tests."
While the 23-year old Cathrine has been enjoying the journey to Grand Prix, there were times during the past year when she doubted whether her Caprimond x Donnerhall offspring could go all the way.
“Suddenly he had it and did the piaffe and passage," she confessed. However I think it's difficult for me to keep the expression all the way through the piaffe and passage tour at Grand Prix level. At home it works but we still need more experience to keep it in the tests, and as I’ve never competed Grand Prix before we both need the experience.”
With Cathrine's previous horse Atterupgaards Orthilia now scoring 75% at international Grand Prix level with British WEG team rider Fiona Bigwood, Cathrine says it's amazing that a horse like 'Tillie' is doing so well.
“We didn't have the money to buy a horse like Orthilia, so when she had to go away I was happy to follow her with a rider as skilled as Fiona, and I'm wishing the pair all the best," Dufour replied when Eurodressage asked about her sentiments towards Orthilia's stellar rise on the show scene.
Cathrine is trained by Rune Willum at her own barn in Roskilde. She has pushed back her course in Leisure Management as she is kept very busy running “Dufour Dressage”.
“My plan for this year is to make Cassidy stronger and compete in some CDI’s later in the year," said the level-headed rider.
Dual Golden Girl Cathrine Dufour On the Way to Grand Prix
Dufour Does the Double and Wins Kur Gold at the 2013 European Young Riders Championships
Atterupgaards Cassidy Sold to Danish Junior Cathrine Dufour
Atterupgårds Cassidy, Polka Hit Nexen and Horsebo Smarties Win 2007 Danish Young Horse Championships