5 Questions for Cathrine's mum, Mona

This week we’ve had a chat with Cathrine’s mum Mona Dufour about how she works with Cathrine both during regular days and at competitions. She shares some advice for the mothers of equestrians, and also talks about some of the struggles and rewards of being the parent of an elite athlete.

  1. What do you do to help Cathrine in her day to day life?

I'm usually on stand-by, for example if Cat needs to be two places at once, that is, if she has training with her trainers or if she’s training someone else, and at the same time has a vet appointment, massage therapist or osteopath for the horses, then I can help out with the horses. I’m chauffeur and coffee and food runner when Kyra and Nathalie come to train Cathrine. I sometimes film the training with the horses. Other than that, she manages everything herself.

  1. What does a competition day look like for you?

I go with her to the competition arena early in the morning, and is on stand-by if we forgot something at the hotel. Watch/film the morning training, make sure there’s coffee for the trainers and therapists, and help out where it’s needed (usually with cleaning up). Then we go back to the hotel and eat breakfast. After that we go back to the competition arena to take care of Cassidy and cheer on the other riders. 3-4 hours before Cathrine enters the arena we make sure everything is ready for her ride - if we have time, we eat lunch together. In the stables I’m on standby again, relax with the other riders, horse owners, trainers and therapists. We go to the warm-up and make sure to be ready if Cathrine has forgotten anything. I film the warm-up and the actual ride. I help with the unsaddling in the stables and get everything ready for the prize ceremony. Help again with the saddling and unsaddling, clearing up etc. after the awards have been handed out. That’s that day gone, and we go back to the hotel to get dinner.

  1. What’s your best advice to mothers in the equestrian industry?

Don’t push your child, but hold on to the fact that you finish what you start and that you always try your best, just like with everything else in life. If your child has a wish to ride at a national/international level, then make sure that he or she understands that it’ll take all of their spare time; it’s a very time-demanding sport. Like with other elite sports, it takes focus, hard work and massive support from the parents. Be prepared to let go of family celebrations, even anniversaries. Be prepared to see your old friend group shrink (because you have to say no to going to events, and never have the energy to invite them over), but that you will on the other hand get many new friends within the equestrian sport.

  1. If you had to describe your dog Charlie with three words, what would they be?

All his own.

  1. What motivates you?
  • That you become dependent on being with the horses
  • When things succeed
  • Seeing that Cathrine loves her work with the horses
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Den her uge har vi snakket med Cathrines mor Mona Dufour om hvordan hun er nærværende og hjælper Cathrine både i dagligdagen og under stævner. Hun deler også nogle gode råd til rytter-mødre og fortæller om hvor hårdt det nogle gange kan være, men også hvor givende det er når man ser sit barn lykkedes.

  1. Hvad gør du for at hjælpe Cathrine i hverdagen?

Står stand-by, et eksempel kan være at Cat skal være 2 steder på samme tid, dvs. hvis hun har undervisning selv, eller har elever hun skal undervise og hun også lige har booket dyrlæge, massør eller osteopat til hestene, så kan jeg hjælpe med hestene. Chauffør og “kaffe- og madmor” når Kyra og Natalie kommer og træner Cat. Filmer nogle gange træningen af hestene. Ellers klarer hun alle ærterne selv.

  1. Hvordan ser en stævnedag ud for dig?

Jeg tager med på stævnepladsen tidligt om morgenen, står stand-by hvis der er glemt noget “hjemme” på hotellet. Ser/filmer morgentræning, sørger for kaffe til trænere og behandlere, og hjælper hvor der er behov(typisk oprydning) Så tager vi alle tilbage til hotellet og spiser morgenmad. Derefter tager vi tilbage på stævnepladsen og nusser om Cassie og hepper på de andre ryttere. Så gøres der klar til ridning 3-4 timer inden Cat skal på banen; hvis vi kan nå det, spiser vi frokost sammen. I stalden igen på stand-by, hygger med de andre ryttere, hesteejere, trænere, behandlere. Går til opvarmning, sørger for at være parat hvis vi har glemt noget. Filmer opvarmning og selve konkurrence-ridtet. Hjælper igen i stalden med af-sadling, evt. gøre klar til præmieoverrækkelse. Hjælper igen med op- og afsadling, oprydning mm efter præmieoverrækkelse. Så er den dag gået, tilbage til hotellet og få aftensmad.

  1. Hvad er dit bedste råd til mødre i ridesporten?

Pres ikke dit barn, men hold fast i at man gennemfører hvad man starter på, og man skal gøre sit bedste, ligesom med alt andet i livet. Hvis dit barn har et ønske om at ride på landsplan/internationalt plan, så gør det klart for dit barn, at det kræver alt hendes fritid; det er en meget meget tidskrævende sport. Som andre elitesportsgrene, kræver det fokus, hårdt arbejde og kæmpe forældreopbakning; vær selv parat til at fraskrive dig familiefester; selv mærkedage. Vær parat til at den gamle vennekreds skrumper, (fordi du må melde fra til forskellige mærkedage, og aldrig har tid/overskud til at gen-invitere), men du får så tilgengæld en masse nye i ridesporten.

  1. Hvis du skulle beskrive din hund Charlie med tre ord, hvad ville de så være?

Helt sin egen.

  1. Hvad motiverer dig?

At man bliver afhængig af omgangen med hestene

At tingene lykkedes

At se Cat elsker at arbejde med hestene


1 comment

  • As an equestrian mom for a dedicate rider your advice and activities are so spot on in my view. Thank you for sharing. We have had the delightful pleasure of watching your lovedly daughter ride in Aachen and Tryon! Nothing has given me more pleasure than being a part of this adventure:) in her life. Another happy equine mom

    DeLaine Emmert

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