Barbançon Scores a Double to Close Out Her First Adequan® Global Dressage Festival Season in Style
It was an epic and unforgettable day for 30-year-old French rider Morgan Barbançon, who capped a sensational first Wellington season of her career with wins in both the Dutta Corp CDI4* Grand Prix Special and the Beatrice Marienau Dressage CDI3* Grand Prix Special. They were the two showcase classes of the penultimate day of week 11 during the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). AGDF 2023, which hosts seven weeks of CDI competition over three months, runs through April 2. The wins took Barbançon’s tally of victories to three in under 24 hours — all on different horses.
On Saturday, she led the four-star class on the 11-year-old Habana Libre A (by Zizi Top x United), pulling out a unanimous win on 71.702% from final draw, despite a mistake in the one-time changes on the diagonal. American ladies filled the remaining two podium steps, with Katie Duerrhammer and Paxton sealing second on 69.234% and Alice Tarjan third riding Candescent to 68.596%.
In the three-star ranks, 12-year-old Deodoro (by Damon Hill x Lauries Crusador) stepped up to earn Barbançon yet another winner’s rug for her burgeoning collection, putting down an untouchable 71.596% despite the three riders placed behind her all posting personal best scores. Emily Miles (USA) and Java Dulce — winners of the qualifying grand prix class — had to settle for second this time with 70.872%. The final competitor in the class, America’s Kevin Kohmann, picked up third with a 69.043% ride on Dünensee.
“I’m on cloud nine right now,” enthused Barbançon, who will be back in Europe first thing on Monday morning and straight back to riding in the cold. “I’m exhausted and I gave the last bit of myself in that last test today, but it’s such a good tired.
“I have no words to describe the week; four blue ribbons, two red ribbons — I can’t complain,” added the Switzerland-based rider, who trains with Britain’s Gareth Hughes, mostly through online coaching sessions using the auto-tracking smartphone mount system called Pivo.