Morgan Barbançon of France Rides Deodoro to Personal Best Score to win Florida’s Gold Coast CDI3* Grand Prix in Rider’s 1st Regular Show in America

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Morgan Barbancon of France rode Deodoro or “Lilo” as she prefers to call the gelding, to victory in the rider’s first regular horse show in the America. © 2023 Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 20, 2023–Morgan Barbançon of France rode Deodoro to a personal best score to win the Gold Coast CDI3* Grand Prix Friday in the French rider’s first regular horse show in America.

The two-time Olympian and the 12-year-old Westfalen gelding were awarded 71.239% that surprised the rider who has sustained several broken bones in being bucked off the horse she prefers to call “Lilo” when she found the horse to be unrideable.

Susan Dutta of Wellington, Florida and Don Design DC, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, scored 70.891% for runner-up in the field in which five of the 10 starting combinations were European-based.

Anna Christina Abbelen, a European Championship gold medalist on six German teams from ponies through young riders as well as two individual golds, placed third on 70.109% on the 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding Sam Donnerhall.

The 30-year-old Morgan who is based in Switzerland but rode for France at the Tokyo Olympics and for Spain at the London Games, has competed once before in the U.S., on Painted Black at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2015.

She came to Florida with three horses, Deodoro, Bolero and Habana Libre but left Sir Donnerhall II OLD, her top horse, at home awaiting a decision on whether Morgan will qualify for the World Cup Final in Omaha that, if successful, would be the fifth for the rider.

The performance by Deodoro made her happy, Morgan said, “but very unexpected with this horse.”

She got the horse when he was seven years old but said she did not know at the time that he had recently been gelded and was very difficult to handle. As a result, she was thrown off and sustained several broken bones.

“I had to suck it up,” she said. “I had a dangerous horse. It was just a nightmare.” The worst of it lasted about a year, Morgan said.

Even so, she said, “I absolutely adore this horse. He’s very special in his own way.

“It makes me so proud how he has stepped up, that he has got over his ghosts and says, ‘OK, I’ll do it for you’. That’s the feeling I had today. I just had a flowing forward feeling with him.

“I hope he’s my future–it’s between him and Habana. I’m preparing both for Paris.”

Morgan said she will compete Lilo extensively throughout the winter circuit at Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival to the end of March.

Results:

CDI3* Grand Prix

Judges: Cesar Torrente Agnieszka Majewska Stephen Clarke Kari McClain Janet Lee Foy
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 71.239 FRA Morgan Barbançon Deodoro 71.087 70.435 73.370 70.217 71.087
2. 70.891 USA Susan Dutta Don Design DC 70.543 69.891 73.804 69.891 70.326
3. 70.109 GER Anna-Christina Abbelen Sam Donnerhall 71.087 70.000 69.130 69.565 70.761
4. 69.130 USA Mikala Münter Salsa Hit 68.043 69.565 70.326 69.130 68.587
5. 69.087 FRA Morgan Barbançon Bolero 68.696 68.478 69.783 68.478 70.000
6. 66.913 USA Christopher Hickey Stenagers Wyatt Earp 66.630 67.283 67.826 65.978 66.848
7. 66.044 SUI Barbara Bertschinger Sonnenberg’s Solisco CH 66.196 65.435 67.609 66.413 64.565
8. 65.826 USA Chase Shipka Gladstone Zee T 66.196 66.413 64.565 65.870 66.087
9. 65.174 AUS Jemma Heran Saphira Royal 2 65.978 66.630 66.630 62.935 63.696
10. 63.304 CAN Evi Strasser Disney Tyme 63.043 63.587 65.326 63.478 61.087
SCR USA Benjamin Ebeling Illuster Van De Kampert