Dufour Withdraws Mount St. John Freestyle from 2024 CDIO Rotterdam

Sun, 06/09/2024 - 15:31
Cathrine Dufour and Mount St. John Freestyle at the 2024 Danish Championships :: Photo © Ridehesteb

Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour has withdrawn Mount St. John Freestyle from the FEI Nations Cup at the 2024 CDI Rotterdam on 20 - 23 June 2024. 

Danish Olympic Observation Trial

The CDIO Rotterdam is after the Danish Dressage championships the second Danish Olympic team observation trial. Danish team captain Anne-Mette Binder and team 'expert' Wolfram Wittig selected the four most likely Olympic team candidate to go to Rotterdam. A "B-team" of long listed Danish  Olympic team candidates will go to the CDIO Rotterdam.

For Rotterdam Denmark had chosen Dufour (Freestyle), Bachmann (Vayron), Merrald (Don Olymbrio as nr 1 Zepter competed in Hagen) and Kruth (Heiline's Danciera).

Paddock Accident

Dufour and Mount St. John Freestyle recently confirmed their  national number one position by winning the Danish Championships, virtually securing their spot on the Danish Olympic team. Denmark's number two, Nanna Merrald and Zepter, missed the Nationals because Nanna's sister got married that weekend.

According to Horse2Rider, Dufour's withdrawal is due to a paddock accident. "Free had a small accident in the paddock which means she is only allowed to do some small jogging for the next week, and therefore she will not be in top form for Rotterdam," Dufour stated.

Less than a week ago German Isabell Werth also withdrew her number one, Queenparks Wendy, from the German Championships due to a paddock accident.

Strategy towards the Olympics, Conserving Energy

With less than 50 days to go until the Paris Olympics, many riders with older, more experienced horses are choosing to slow down and spare their horses in the lead-up to the Olympics, the most important equestrian competition every four years. 

While in Germany the team candidates are going full throttle with their Nationals in Balve this weekend over three (!) rounds, followed by the CDIO Aachen with three (!!) rounds in four weeks before their team nomination. The Olympics begin three weeks after Aachen.

Dufour explained to Eurodressage that Freestyle "was a little crazy in the paddock while I was at vacation (after the weekend at the danish without field time). I am riding her just 8 days easy jogging so it’s just not right timing for Rotterdam, when I havrn't ridden her full power."

It will be interesting to see if the Danish technical staff will ask Dufour to prove Freestyle's fitness in another competition or not. "I think I’ll have to do another show still, but nothing is settled yet," Cathrine told Eurodressage. 

For comparison, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl announced today she has been excused from competing Dalera at the second German selection trial in Aachen. Merrald's Zepter did only one CDI test this year (in Hagen) and it's unsure whether he will need to compete again to be considered for the team.

Photo © Ridehesten

Related Links
Ludvigsen and Laudrup-Dufour Win the 2024 Danish Dressage Championships
Danish Teams Announced for 2024 CDIO Rotterdam and Aachen