Morgan Barbançon and Girasol Find Their Stride at the 2016 CDI Deauville

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 07:06
2016 CDI Deauville

Spanish A-team rider Morgan Barbançon Mestre and her 15-year old Baden Wurttemberger mare Girasol found their stride in France at the international dressage competition located in the posh French seaside town of Deauville on 22 - 24 July 2016. The ladies' duo placed second in the Grand Prix and won the Kur to Music at the 2016 edition of the CDI 3* Deauville.

After missing out on Spanish Olympic team selection right after the 2016 CDIO Aachen, Barbançon let it go to heart and just focused on the next event in the life-long process of riding high performance dressage and perfecting her partnership with her liver chestnut mare Girasol (by Gribaldi x Landioso).

In Deauville they scored 69.780% to place second in the Grand Prix behind British Laura Tomlinson on Rosalie B. In the Kur to Music they topped the board with 73.250% in a field of 11 international competitors.

"Girasol felt very good in Deauville, a totally different horse from Aachen," Morgan explained. "She was getting better and better everyday. After Aachen we decided to stop with Ton (de Ridder) and on Sunday we decided to go to Deauville. So I trained her to my feeling and did in Deauville exactly the same as I did at home and it turned out good. She was really with me and we both didn't feel confused. No pressure, we enjoyed the ride, but there were still a few things that can be better. The overall picture was much better though."

The Spanish Morgan Barbançon lives in The Netherlands, where she studies in Eindhoven. Her horses are located in Weert, The Netherlands. Initially she was coached by Danish Andreas Helgstrand but the commute was too difficult to combine with her college duties. She was unable to reap the fruits she had hoped for from her more recent collaboration with the Aachen based coach Ton de Ridder and they mutually agreed to go separate ways.

"Ton and I disagreed on a few points so we came to the mutual decision to stop," Morgan explained. "I haven't yet decided on a new coach. I'm taking steps back and I'm looking what is best for my horses and myself."

Following the retirement of her number one Grand Prix horse Painted Black after the 2015 European Championships in Aachen, Morgan continued her show career on Nadine Capellmann's experienced mare Girasol. They made their show debut in September 2015 at the CDI Saumur with a straight second place finish. Since they competed at Maastricht, Lier, 's Hertogenbosch, Oliva, Aachen and Deauville.

"I love this mare, she's great, very special," said Morgan. "I have a feeling that we are getting more and more together and we understand each other more. It takes time to get to a combination, so I'm very positive about her. Saying goodbye to Painted Black was very hard. He is a horse of a lifetime and I had great experiences and memories with him. He brought me so much. I have turned the page and I'm looking forward to a new adventure with Girasol."

Morgan trains five horses on a daily basis, alongside concluding her Bachelor's thesis in International Business and Management at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven. With the 10-year old Oldenburg stallion Sir Donnerhall II (by Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) she has made the transition to senior Grand Prix level in Deauville and scored respectable marks in the mid sixties on the rising GP horse.

"It was his first international outing in the senior Grand Prix. He is still very green, but had great comments from the judges," Morgan explained. "I think this horse has potential. Now we just have to get our routine and grow as a combination."

Her other irons in the fire are the 4-year old Oldenburg and Danish warmblood licensed stallion Foxtrot (by Foundation x Furst Heinrich), the 10-year old Dutch warmblood Bubbles (by Johnson x Aktion) and the 12-year old Oldenburg bred  Antonio (by Sir Donnerhall x Don Schufro).

"Foxtrot is a very nice horse and I'm looking forward to training him up the levels. I want to train him more at home with the others and hopefully show them soon," said Morgan. "My short term goal is to do the World Cup season with both Girasol and Sir Donnerhall II and to take it step by step - no rushing - and see how everything develops."

Photos © Pixelevents - Astrid Appels

Related Links
Scores: 2016 CDI Deauville
Morgan Barbancon Mestre's Painted Black Retired from Competition
Girasol to Morgan Barbancon Mestre
Vitana V Sold, Faximiliana Acquired by Morgan Barbancon