Dufour anchors dream win for Denmark at Aachen
Cathrine Dufour (DEN) riding Vamos Amigos, part of the winning team from Denmark at the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2022. (FEI/Leanjo de Koster)
The FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ at Aachen (GER) was full of emotion as Denmark recorded its first victory in the history of the event. Nanna Skodborg Merrald (Atterupgaards Orthilia), Daniel Bachmann Andersen (Marshall-Bell), Carina Cassøe Krüth (Heiline's Danciera) and Cathrine Dufour (Vamos Amigos) gave Team Manager Anne-Mette Binder a birthday to remember as the quartet triumphed over the home nation in the penultimate event of the 2022 FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series.
Denmark finished on a winning total of 459.421 points after tallying the three best scores from the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special. Germany was left on 454.903 points after team anchor and seven-time Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth (DSP Quantaz) was shockingly eliminated in the Special when blood was found on her horse's mouth. Sweden finished third (440.499 points)
"It's just really fun building this [team] together. It was an annoying way to win in the end with Isabell, but I still think that we did a super job today. Everyone contributed."
Cathrine Dufour (DEN)
The runners-up from April's FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final, Dufour and Vamos Amigos anchored the group with career-best scores in both the Grand Prix (81.544) and Grand Prix Special (80.064). The pair was the only combination to score above 80 percent.
"I'm super proud of [Vamos Amigos]. He did a super job again in the ring today [in the Grand Prix Special]," Dufour said. "I might have had five minutes too much warm-up, so I had little less power compared to the Grand Prix, when he was super, super electric. He's 10 years old and is doing super job."
Bachmann was not expecting to be at Aachen after Marshall-Bell was sold to U25 rider Nicole Ahorner of Austria earlier this year, but a meaningful summer reunion has transpired in hopes that horse and rider can make Denmark's team for the upcoming FEI World Championships in Hernig (DEN). After finishing 11th in the Grand Prix (73.696%), the pair rose in the standings with a Grand Prix Special test worthy of 75.234%.
"This was our last selection [event] for our team for [the World Championships]. I was very happy. It was a big day for me," Bachmann said. "I rode [Marshall-Bell] eight times before coming here. It was a little stressful but still a good experience."
"We are proud—overwhelmed I would say I am," Binder said. "I'm really grateful to have such good riders and lovely horses and horse owners that support us all the way."
With its podium finish, Sweden extended its lead in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ series with 41 points. The Netherlands moved into second with 24 points, while Spain sits third (20 points). The series concludes at Falsterbo (SWE), 14-17 July.