Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 27, 2023 – Returning to the International ring for the second Friday Night Lights of the season, riders vying for the blue ribbon up for grabs in the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle put their best foot forward in order to wow the judges and win the crowd with their musical routines. Though many riders hoped to top the leaderboard, it was Germany’s Frederic Wandres aboard Bluetooth OLD who once again beat out the competition. The pair entered the winners circle with a score of 81.805%, a new personal best in the Freestyle for the team.

Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD
Frederic Wandres and Bluetooth OLD

Since starting their winter Wellington career together just last season, Wandres and Bluetooth OLD, Hof Kassekman’s 13-year-old gelding, have taken the Adequan Global Dressage Festival by storm and risen above each challenge they’ve faced in CDI competition offered at the Florida venue. With a new personal best score for their rhythmic and correct Grand Prix Freestyle routine, they can only continue to climb the ranks and hope to remerge in the International Arena a few more times this season.

Morgan Barbancon and Bolero
Morgan Barbancon and Bolero

Finishing second was Morgan Barbancon of France on Bolero, her own 17-year-old KWPN gelding. The pair earned a score of 77.895 to take the second place spot on Friday evening, following a solid performance in the Grand Prix on Thursday. Barbancon, who has competed internationally representing France for many years, is getting her first taste of a winter in Wellington this year, bringing out two of her Grand Prix horses in this week’s competition. 

Sweden’s Caroline Darcourt on Lovsta Stuteri AB’s Lord Django, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding, rounded out the top three with a score of 77.83%. Coming off a high after earning a new personal best Grand Prix score on Thursday, Darcourt was thrilled to follow it up with another high score and placing.

Caroline Darcourt and Lord Django
Caroline Darcourt and Lord Django

Competition at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival will continue Sunday, Jan. 28, with the CDI3* and CDI4* Grand Prix Specials.

FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Frederic Wandres – CDI4* Grand Prix Winner

On his ride:
“I’m very happy today. This is the first time under the lights on Friday this season, I’ve done this now for two seasons. I’ve been looking forward to coming back here to ride under the lights, it’s always a special atmosphere and the spectators are super. I was a little bit nervous about how it would go because you never know how the horses are going to handle it, but we took it in a positive way and I had a much better feeling than in the Grand Prix. He was much more fresh and forward. From the feeling of the ride it felt like one of the best feelings he’s ever given me.

On the freestyle:
“It’s the original freestyle from Duke of Briain, I have another freestyle in the works for Bluetooth that maybe we can show later in the season. I’m looking forward to the CDI5*.”

Morgan Barbancon – CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle second place

On her ride:
“I was really happy with my ride today. I think one of my best rides with Bolero, definitely better than the Grand Prix and it was mistake free. It was his first time under the lights so I was a little bit stressed about how he would react but he did really well with it so I was happy.” 

Results: CDI4* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Freestyle

Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Score
1. Frederic Wandres / GER / Bluetooth OLD / 81.805
2. Morgan Barbancon / FRA / Bolero / 77.895
3. Caroline Darcourt / SWE / Lord Django / 77.83
4. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven / SWE / Devanto / 77.045
5. Benjamin Ebeling / USA / Indeed / 75.205
6. Kerrigan Gluch / USA / Mejorano HGF / 74.57
7. Caroline Chew / SGP / Tribiani / 73.7
8. Codi Harrison / USA / Katholt’s Bossco / 73.055
9. Claire Darnell / USA / Harrold S / 72.795
10. Patricia Fernando / VEN / Honnaisseur SJ / 71.81

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