Morgan Barbançon Boasts Top Score in Mission Control CDI3* Grand Prix
Thursday morning at the 2023 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) featured national and international classes during the eighth week of competition at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. Fifteen combinations kicked off the weekend in style as they set their best foot forward in the Mission Control CDI3* Grand Prix. The class was a win for France as Morgan Barbançon piloted her own 11-year-old KWPN gelding Habana Libre A (ZiZi Top x United) to the unbeatable score of 71.630%.
As one of the first riders to perform the halt-salute at X, Jan Ebeling (USA) took the early lead with a score of 69.109% aboard Jubi’s Tenacity. Ebeling held the lead across the majority of the class but ultimately settled for the third-place honors with Ann Romney’s 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Tailormade temptation x Blue Hors Don Schufro). Barbançon was the third-to-final entry to compete and shot straight to the top after breaking the 70% mark.
“He is a truly lovely horse to ride because he is always willing to work,” gushed Barbançon. “There’s not a day I take him out of the stable and feel like he doesn’t want to work. He is the best horse I’ve ever ridden and has all the makings of a top horse; every time in the ring he gets better and better.”
For Barbançon, there will always be things to work on but the progress of her horses and their performance means more to her than the overall score.
“I thought our test today was quite good, but I still need to work on the piaffe for it to be more technically correct,” she added. “For me, the most important thing is to present my horses in the best way possible and have a nice, fault-free test. I don’t set goals for percentages, and I think if the score is the only thing you care about then you may not truly love the sport. I always feel that good scores will follow if I can make the horses their best.”
Codi Harrison (USA) performed the final test of the class and took a late jump into second place after producing a performance worthy of a new personal best score of 70.413% piloting his own 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Katholt’s Bossco (Blue Hors Don Schufro x Michellino).
Global Dressage Festival LLC (coth.com)