A major medal hope has been forced to withdraw from September’s World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA, due to lameness.

Last year’s double European bronze medallist Cathrine Dufour will no longer represent Denmark in Tryon after her long-time top ride, Atterupgaards Cassidy, sustained an injury in the field.

“WEG will unfortunately be without Cassidy and I. Cassidy has made a minor injury in the field, which means that we currently can’t work him,” said Cathrine, who led Denmark to team silver at the Gothenburg Europeans in 2017. She also took two individual bronze European medals with the 15-year-old Caprimond x Donnerhall gelding, whom she has partnered for nearly 10 years, since she was in juniors.

“It’s of course very disappointing as he’s been better than ever during this season,” said the 26-year-old, who made her senior grand prix debut in 2016, and for whom this would have been a first world games.

We will do everything we can to take care of Cassidy in the best way possible, and therefore we won’t push him to do anything he’s not ready to. I’m sad that we won’t be a part of the Danish team, but we wish our team mates and colleagues all the best for WEG 2018. We will be back!”

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Since the 2017 Europeans, Cathrine and Cassidy have clocked up international wins at Herning and Gothenburg CDIs, as well as finishing second behind the USA’s Laura Graves in the grand prix at Aachen CDIO and fourth in both the special and the freestyle. They were also crowned Aachen grand champions, as the highest-scoring combination across the three tests.

As Denmark’s strongest contenders, being ranked fourth in the world, Cathrine and Cassidy’s withdrawal is a major blow to the team’s medal chances. However, Anna Zibrandtsen and the 13-year-old stallion Arlando — also members of last year’s silver medal-winning Danish team — will step in, alongside Daniel Bachmann Andersen (Blue Hors Zack), Anders Dahl (Selten HW) and Betina Jæger Jensen (Belstaff).

The Games run from 11 to 23 September.

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