Morgan Barbançon & Habana Libre A. Photo ©SusanJStickle.com.
France’s Morgan Barbançon and Habana Libre A claimed the winner’s blanket in the day’s headline class, the CDI3* Grand Prix Special, sponsored by MTICA Farm. Barbançon’s 71.66% on her own 11-year-old gelding — by Zizi Top out of a United dam — is their second highest score ever in this test.
Of the 15 starters, the trio of riders on the podium remained unchanged from Friday’s qualifying Grand Prix, but the 22-year-old German sensation Felicitas Hendricks climbed a place to net second. She rode her own 12-year-old gelding Drombusch 2 (Destano x Dimaggio) to 70.362% in the pair’s debut senior international show at the level. Her compatriot Anna-Christina Abbelen, 26, piloted her 16-year-old Samarant gelding Sam Donnerhall to 69.723% and third place.
“I’m extremely happy and it was great to win,” enthused the 30-year-old Barbançon, who is spending her first season in Wellington. “Habana was a wee bit tired today but still tried. The whole passage/trot part was nice, and I was really happy with the walk. The piaffes were a little bit less [powerful] than two weeks ago, but it was cooler then and really warm today.
“I don’t normally get affected by the heat, but yesterday I already had to use a new frack [tailcoat] because it was drenched. This is the second one going to the dry cleaners. But I prefer that to the frostbite I get at home.”
Alexander Yde Helgstrand and Belantis Top Intermediate I CDI1*
Andreas Helgstrand’s 19-year-old son Alexander Yde Helgstrand and Belantis — formerly ridden by Isabell Werth — made it two wins from two starts in AGDF 5, topping Saturday’s hotly contested Intermediate I CDI1*, presented by Centerline Stables. They also won Thursday’s Prix St. Georges class. Helgstrand was also competing his mother’s horse Super Mario in the under-25s, and two wins in that division — at Intermediate II and Grand Prix — brought his tally of CDI blue ribbons for the week to four.
“Today the high points were the two-tempis and the extended trot and canter,” said Helgstrand, who is another rider spending his first season in Wellington. “Belantis is super talented and I really love working with him. He had some more power and energy today, but it was still controlled.”
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.