Ludvigsen and Laudrup-Dufour Win the 2024 Danish Dressage Championships

Thu, 05/30/2024 - 17:43
2024 Danish Dressage Championships
Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour wins her seventh GP title at the 2024 Danish Dressage Championships :: Photo © Ridehesten

Under 25 rider Sophia Ludvigsen and senior Grand Prix rider Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour became the winners of the 2024 Danish Dressage Championships for Grand prix level riders.

The 2024 Danish Nationals were held in Vallensbaek after the Danish equestrian federation decided to pull the plug on Uggerhalne. They dates also shifted to 22 - 26 May 2024 which forced title defender  Nanna Skodborg Merrald to drop out because her sister was getting married that weekend.

In the absence of Merrald and Daniel Bachmann's top horse Vayron, Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour easily freewheeled to her seventh senior title, this time aboard the 15-year old Hanoverian mare Mount St. John Freestyle (by Fidermark x Donnerhal), owned by the rider, the Zinglersen family and Emma Blundell.

After the sale of Bohemian and the departure of Vamos Amigos and with her younger horses not mature at Grand Prix, Dufour found a successor in Mount St. John Freestyle in the autumn of 2023. After having been successfully campaigned by Charlotte Dujardin, the bay mare had a break due to injury and then served as schoolmaster for owner Emma. With the Olympics looming on the horizon, Blundell forged a new partnership with Dufour to give her horse a new chance at the Olympics. 

Dufour debuted Freestyle at the CDI Kronenberg in December 2023 scoring two 81% marks. Three months later at the CDI Herning, they posted 80.413% in the Grand Prix and 81.9% in the Special. The Danish Championships were the pair's second show of 2024; They train mainly with Kyra Kyrklund to consolidate the partnership as Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein now focuses solely on Bachmann.  

Dufour and Mount St. John Freestyle
On the sun-kissed weekend of national championships in Vallensbaek a huge crowd gathered around the arena to witness Dufour earn another title. She and Freestyle showed to be a lovely partnership that was pleasant to watch but their communication is not yet fine-tuned to perfection, which will be required if they want to beat reigning Olympic champions Werndl and Dalera BB. They have two more months to accomplish that task.

In the Grand Prix the halt at entry was not square and there was a break into canter in the first trot extension. There was good crossing of the legs in the half passes but she leaned a bit on the forehand in the right one and the left one could have been more regular in the rhythm. The rein back was good, the second trot extensions safely ridden with limited overtrack. The first piaffe-passage was soft footed. The extended walk had good overtrack and relaxation but the right hind steps under more than the left hind. The collected walk could have been a bit more collected. In the second piaffe the mare stayed nicely on the spot but moved the left hind out from under the body a bit. The two tempi changes were smooth, the extended canter a bit hurried. The zig zag looked balance but one change to the left appeared shorter behind. The ones were good and through the body (scores between 7.5 - 10). The pirouettes were small. She became uneven in the rhythm in the transition down to the trot and also the regularity in the final extended trot needs to be better (6.5 - 7.5). Also in the final passage the regularity was a bit lost with the right hind more under. Overall it was a very pleasant ride to watch.  Freestyle, who's boasting a massively thick tail at the moment, seemed very willing to work for her rider. 

The panel of judges included four Danish judges (Christensen, Westh, Sogaard, Matthiesen) and one foreign judge, German Henning Lehrmann. Dufour's Grand Prix score was a winning 81.740%, more than 7% ahead of Carina Cassoe Kruth on Heiline's Danciera.  Matthiesen had the low score of 79.800 and Christensen had the high score of 83.200%

The podium: Kruth, Dufour, Bang
In the Kur to Music Dufour and Freestyle rode to new music based on Belgian artist Stromae's "Formidable" as well as Celine Dion's Titanic theme song, maybe to give it a French hint thinking of Versailles.  Their Kur to Music stood out with a very high degree of technical difficulty: complex lines and movements such an extended walk, into canter pirouette, into piaffe pirouette in the opposite direction crank'r up the DOD. There were many highlights such as the sweet piaffes and nice piaffe turns (although a little on the shoulders); the nice combination of collected walk, piaffe turn, into double canter pirouette; the big forward two tempi changes and zig zag. However, there were still issues of regularity in the passage and Freestyle was very busy with the mouth. A mistake in the one tempi changes affected the score. They posted 86.975% for the victory. All five judges had them first with 85.625% as low score and 88.375% as high score. The gold medal and Dufour's seventh title was in the bag. 

Carina Cassoe Kruth and the 13-year old Danish warmblood mare Heiline's Danciera (by Furstenball x De Niro) got the silver after posting 74.36% in the Grand Prix and 78.15% in the Kur to Music. Lone Bang Zindorff and the 14-year old Danish warmblood Thranegaardens Rostov (by Romanov) got bronze with 72.3% in the Grand Prix and 79.675% in the Kur. 

Ludvigsen on Blue Hors Quintana
In the Under 25 division Sophia Ludvigsen and the 10-year old Blue Hors Quintana (by Quantensprung x Desperados) claimed the title after winning both rounds convincingly with 73.14% and 78.55%. The silver went to the Dutch based Thea Bach and the bronze was for Karoline Rohmann.

Vallensbaek also hosted the Danish Para Dressage Championship. In the combined Grade I - III division the title went to Katrin Kristensen on Gorklintgards Quater (by Quaterback x Don Schufro). In the Grade IV - V division the title went to Tina Damgaard on Burning Steps (by Erlando x Romancier).

Results - 2024 Danish Dressage Championships - Vallensbaek

Under 25 (top 14 only)

  • 1. Sophia Ludvigsen - Blue Hors Quintana - 73.14 78.55 --- 151.69
  • 2. Thea Bech  - Dionisos - 71.953 74.2 --- 146.153
  • 3. Karoline Rohmann  - Jakas Don Louvre - 71.325 74.5 --- 145.825
  • 4. Ida Kirstine Bjørn  - Hussmanns Jackson - 70.302 71.875 --- 142.177
  • 5. Cecilie Dybro Jensen  - Zagori - 69.047 71.675 --- 140.722
  • 6. Sara Aagaard Hyrm  - Atterupgaards Cooper - 63.953 75.775 --- 139.728
  • 7. Isabell Toft Waksvik  - Smilla-vitz - 64.674 70.825 --- 135.499
  • 8. Sofie Besser Wissmann  - Fight Hour - 65.628 65.85 --- 131.478
  • 9. Victoria Cecilie Bonefeld Dahl  - Bolero - 63.233 68.1 --- 131.333
  • 10.  Laura Elisabeth Kjær Rohmann -  Zugar Ray - 61.0 69.05 --- 130.05
  • 11. Sofie Amalie Kjærgaard Wettendorff  - Hacker - 65.628 63.475 --- 129.103 
  • 12. Johanne Amby Ubbesen  - Delatio - 62.628 65.05 --- 127.678
  • 13. Sophie Blume  - Atterupgaard's Laurits - 61.698 63.0 --- 124.698
  • 14. Sophie Bonde Nielsen  - Step Enshøj - 60.605 60.6 --- 121.205

Seniors (top 15 only)

  • 1. Cathrine Laudrup-dufour - Mount St John Freestyle - 81.74 86.975 --- 168.715
  • 2. Carina Cassøe Krüth  - Heiline's Danciera  -  74.36 78.15 --- 152.51 
  • 3. Lone Bang Larsen - Thranegaardens Rostov - 72.3 79.675 --- 151.975 
  • 4. Nadja Aaboe Sloth - Favour Gersdorf - 72.5 76.45 --- 148.95 
  • 5. Anna Zibrandtsen  - Quel Filou - 68.9 74.55 --- 143.45 
  • 6. Kenneth Damgaard. - Uno Day Sun - 69.24 73.375 --- 142.615 
  • 7. Daniel Bachmann Andersen  - Shirley - 69.92 72.55 --- 142.47 
  • 8. Joachim Chr. Thomsen  - Vichy Pax - 69.3 72.825 --- 142.125 
  • 9. Rikke Dupont  - Grand Galiano - 68.62 73.325 --- 141.945 
  • 10. Helene Melsen  - Fredensdals Fountain - 64.06 70.375 --- 134.435 
  • 11. Karoline Louise Skøt  - Midtgaards Zamir - 64.78 68.55 --- 133.33
  • 12. Didde Marie Thekilde  - Øgårdens Chanel - 64.44 67.925 --- 132.365 
  • 13. Lone Madsen  - Heslegård's Ragnhild - 65.58 65.925 --- 131.505 
  • 14. Gitte Burgaard-berger  - Højvangs Unik - 64.44 66.7 --- 131.14
  • 15. Caroline Albertsen  - Quintus - 63.5 67.35 --- 130.85

Complete results: Under 25 - Seniors

Photos © Ridehesten

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