For some of you he won’t need any introduction, but for you who don’t know what Atterupgaards Cassidy is for a horse, here’s a biography about my best friend and biggest star in stable.
In 2010 I was looking for a new top horse to compete on international junior/youngrider level. I was 18 years old and had my last junior year to go. We searched for a horse with three super paces, a good age and a temper hot as hell. I really like my horses very hot when it comes to temper and therefor it can be a bit difficult to find the perfect match.
Andreas from Helgstrand Dressage called us and told about this chestnut gelding. Fortunately we didn't had the time to go and see him like immediately and then he got sold. Or so we thought. Two weeks later Andreas called again; the sale wasn't accepted and now we had a second opportunity to see this horse.
We tried him out the day after and Rune was totally sold. I was not as confident as Rune, because I doubted whether the trot was good enough or had enough potential. I loved his temper and he was lovely to ride, but as I said; Rune was the one who pushed us in the right direction.
I remember my father asked Rune this question: “How far do you think this horse can go? What is your opinion?”.
Rune’s instantaneous answer was: “This horse can for sure take an European Medal”.
We bought Atterupgaards Cassidy and I wouldn't be lying if I said that this was the very beginning of an incredible journey. Only two weeks after he arrived in our stable I participated in the Nordic Baltic Championship (because my two other top horses were injured and I was then allowed to use Atterupgaards Cassidy instead) and took home three medals; two gold and one bronze. Based on this result the national trainer picked us for the European Championship in Germany only two weeks after the NBC. So facts were: when I did the team test at the European Championship in Kronberg 2010 it was my 29th ride on Atterupgaards Cassidy.
He was only seven years old at the time, but showed enormous will to work and with his three good paces he made my biggest dream at the time come true as we won an European Medal! As the matter of fact we won THREE medals. Two individual silver and one bronze medal. For so many years I was places 4th or 5th at the European Championships as pony rider and junior rider, and then after 30 rides on Atterupgaards Cassidy this dream came through. That specific competition will always be one of my biggest experiences ever.
As we know now the EC in 2010 was only the beginning. In 2011 as a young rider we took three medals once again from the EC and in 2012 and 2013 we became double European Champions as youngrider. I don’t think there’s a lot of horses who have competed at four European Championships in a row with 11 out of 12 possible medals.
This year I’ve had Cassidy for six years(!). He is my best friend, and we have an incredible bond. From day one we have had a special connection and I truly love him with of all my heart. We are training towards this years Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. Since our last European Championship, we have won a lot of U25 classes national as well as international. In the end of 2015 we had our first international senior GP and GPS win in Roosendaal, and after that we really got into the whole Olympic-race.
My expectations to this season 2016 is one big mix of dreams and goals. The ultimate goal would be to participate at the Olympics but at the same time I know that my competitors are so skilled and some of them much more experienced than me on Grand Prix-level. Maybe it’s unrealistic to aim for Rio De Janeiro, but it’s my biggest dream and I have an amazing horse, so I am going to train my ass of, and by that at least try to be considered as one of the topics for the Olympics.
If this year won’t be the year for Cassidy and I, we’ll just keep on training and maybe 2017 will be the year where we can be a part of the national team. But for now our minds are set on Rio and if we can’t join the team then we simply haven't been good enough through the season!
These months I’m often telling myself: “If you can dream it, you can do it!”.
Fun facts about Cassidy:
- He is for sure my best friend and I can’t imagine not to have him in my stable and be able to kiss his little nose every day.
- Cassidy can be very reserved. Some days I’m the only one he wants to talk to, and nobody else is good enough.
- He loves, as in loves food! Bananas, apples, oranges, carrots and treats. I really think that there’s only one think he doesn't like and that’s sugar and beet pulp.
- I spend an hour a day grooming Cassidy by myself. Maybe not as much grooming as kissing and cuddling.
- His favorite spot to be scratched is on his right side on the top of his shoulder.
- He hates to walk through water when hacking.
- Is very, very, very afraid of TV screens with live filming on - if only text and scores he couldn’t care less.
- He can “smile” on command.
- Every evening when all the other horses get their daily beet pulp, he gets a special version of mash, because he likes that better than the beets.
- Is for sure the king of the stable.
- He won’t touch his morning hay before it is served in the paddock - this routine is so important for him, so when we’re at competitions I take him for a walk outside before he wants to eat his morning hay 😉
- He can be the cutest little pony in the field, behaving super well. Aaaaand he can be a crazy ninja horse jumping around like a yearling.
- He wears special shoes with soles and shock absorbing gel under it.
- His temper is hot as hell when riding. Just how I like it.
- He likes nobody but himself. In the six years I've had him he has only likes one horse: my former top horse Aithon. Aithon was truly like a big brother to him and he felt so safe around him.
- I don’t think he will ever leave my stable. He is simply too special to me and I love him more than anything.
If you have any comments or questions about Atterupgaards Cassidy, please comment below!