Denmark’s Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour and Mount St John Freestyle have made a winning international debut together.
Cathrine and Freestyle enjoyed a glowing start to their new partnership when they topped the Kronenberg CDI3* grand prix with a score of 81.20% on 1 December, and the following day won the grand prix special on 81.40%.
“Freestyle you’re one in a billion, I’m speechless,” said Cathrine.
The competition is the 14-year-old world bronze medal-winning mare’s first international since the Wellington CDI3* in May 2021, where she competed under Charlotte Dujardin to win the grand prix freestyle. Freestyle was not fit to compete at the Tokyo Olympics that year, and returned to Emma Blundell’s Mount St John Stud in 2022 to rejoin the stud’s breeding programme.
She returned to the ring with Emma in June this year to win a national grand prix at Northallerton Equestrian Centre, three months after Emma said it was “her vision to watch Freestyle back out at the top of the sport again”. In October it was announced that a half-share of Freestyle had been bought by the joint company world number two Cathrine has with her long-term supporters the Zinglersen family, as a Paris 2024 prospect.
Cathrine and Freestyle’s victory in the grand prix special was by a margin of nearly 10%, with the judges scoring them a number of 10s for their passage and piaffe work throughout. Lottie Fry and Especial were second on 71.89%.
“Freestyle did it again. I am really lost for words,” said Cathrine.
“Yesterday (1 December) she delivered a mega performance and it humbles me to feel how she allows me to ride her in the ring; +81% again, simply incredibly well trained her whole life by Charlotte and Emma.”
Cathrine thanked everyone for the “huge support” she had at the weekend, and said Freestyle will now enjoy some downtime in the field.
“A special thanks to the Zinglersen family and Emma Blundell for making this fairytale a reality,” she said. “To my amazing groom Ida Trecihler, coaches Kyra Kyrklund and Nathalie Sayn, wife Rasmine, and my amazing home team.”
Emma added that the Mount St John team are “besotted” with Freestyle.
“We couldn’t be happier to see the queen loving being out performing again,” she said.
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