Charlotte Dujardin’s ‘one in a billion’ ride moves to new partner ahead of Paris 2024

  • Mount St John Freestyle, the mare who Charlotte Dujardin partnered to two world medals and countless international wins, has joined top Danish rider Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour as a Paris 2024 prospect.

    A half-share in the 14-year-old has been bought by the joint company Cathrine has with her long-term supporters the Zinglersen family.

    Cathrine, who led the Danish team to world gold in 2022, said the first minute she sat on the mare, “we clicked”.

    “To me, it is a dream come true,” she said. “She is definitely a one in a billion horse, and thanks to Charlotte Dujardin and Emma Blundell’s amazing training, it has been a pleasure to take over the reins of her.”

    Mount St John Freestyle was part of the bronze medal-winning British side at the 2018 World Equestrian Games with Charlotte, also taking home individual bronze. Their major achievements include a freestyle personal best of +89% – at Amsterdam in January 2020 – and winning the World Cup leg at Olympia 2019, among many other international victories.

    Cathrine is one of the sport’s leading riders. She made her senior championship debut at the Rio Olympics aboard her prolific youth medal-winner Atterupgaards Cassidy, with the pair impressing with a triple medal-winning performance at the 2017 Europeans the following year. Since then, Cathrine has bagged numerous individual and team medals at European and World Championships, and finished just shy of the podium at the Tokyo Games.

    Cassidy officially retired from competition in a ceremony at last year’s worlds in Herning, and Cathrine’s recent championship rides, Galleria’s Bohemian and Vamos Amigos, are now with new riders.

    This makes the addition of Mount St John Freestyle to her string significant news with less than a year to go to the Olympics.

    “To me she is the female version of Cassidy: a heart of gold, unbelievable work ethic and outstanding quality,” said Cathrine.

    “This is an incredible opportunity and I am grateful that Family Zinglersen want to support me in the sport at this level through our joint company.”

    The Fidermark daughter was the first dressage foal Mount St John Equestrian bought, and co-owner Emma Blundell said she is their “horse of a lifetime”.
    “We could not be happier to have found the ultimate match in Cathrine, who was the first to try her, and in a very short time they already make an incredible partnership. We wish them all the luck in the world for their future together and are excited to be joining their journey,” said Emma.

    Emma recalled the “amazing memories” of Freestyle winning individual bronze as a nine-year-old with Charlotte at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, and said they were “devastated” when the mare missed the Tokyo Olympics as she was “off games”.

    “It’s been amazing to have her back home at Mount St John for the last couple of years to breed by embryo transfer, while enjoying her company and her also teaching me the grand prix,” said Emma, who scored +74% on her grand prix debut with the mare in June.

    “However we know that she’s destined for greater things, and our absolute dream was always to see her at an Olympics and back at the top of the sport.”

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