Painted Black Ridden by Morgan Barbançon In Last Competition, European Championships Freestyle

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Painted Black being ridden out of a competition arena fornthe last time by Morgan Barbançon Mestre of Spain. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Painted Black being ridden out of a competition arena for the last time by Morgan Barbançon Mestre of Spain. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

AACHEN, Germany, Aug. 16, 2015–Painted Black competed for the last time Sunday when Morgan Barbançon Mestre of Spain rode the 18-year-old stallion in the European Championships Grand Prix Freestyle.

Morgan was in tears as she rode the KWPN stallion (Gribaldi x Ferro) out of the Main Stadium before about 40,000 people after a partnership that took them to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the 2014 World Games in Normandy and this year’s World Cup Final in Las Vegas.

“He has given me so much and today was one of our best kürs (freestyles) ever,” the rider who turned 23 years of age at these championships, told dressage-news.com.

“I don’t want to keep going just to get the last out of him.

“I will ride him at home and through the woods… let him be a stallion.”

Morgan began competing “Painted” at the beginning of 2012 after Anky van Grunsven, the Dutch superstar, competed the horse at Grand Prix on both sides of the Atlantic from 2007 and included the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas where they won silver behind Steffen Peters of the United States on Ravel and at the 2008 World Cup Final where they won bronze.