PHOTO: FEI/ Lotta Brundin Gyllensten/LOTTAPICTURES

Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour and Atterupgaards Cassidy have won the eighth leg of the FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League in Gothenburg.

Standing ovation

It was an incredible afternoon of world-class sport, with the top three riders all in the eighties. However, it was European bronze and silver medalists Cathrine and Atterupgaards Cassidy that took the title.

Their spectacular test saw them awarded a whopping score of 88.200, putting the reining champion Isabell Werth in second place on 85.380.

“I was nervous because this was the first time for us to do this Freestyle floor-plan,” said Cathrine. “Cassidy can be spooky, because he’s a very sensitive horse, but today he was so calm. He was with me every moment of the way and I’ll never forget that standing ovation!”

‘No shame’

Isabell was more than happy with her runner-up spot on Emilio, who is growing in confidence and character.

“There is no shame in finishing second on 85 percent,” she said. “Give us one more year to make his canter as good as the piaffe/passage and you will see what more we can do!”

Sweden’s Patrik Kittel was also delighted with Delaunay OLD’s score of 83.615 which put them in third place. Britain’s Emile Faurie was sixth on Lollipop (72.520).

French final

Today’s result has moved Catherine up to 12th place on the Western European League leaderboard. The top nine will qualify for the final in Paris in April.

As the defending champion, Isabell is guaranteed a place in France and she intends to take her Olympic and European gold medal-winning mare Weihegold.

FEI World Cup Dressage: Gothenburg premieres online on 1 March at 8pm on Horse & Country TV and Amazon Video. You can then watch it via Catch Up.