March 24, 2023 – Wellington, Fla. – The time has finally come – tonight we saw the season’s final Grand Prix Freestyle salute in the International Arena. Over the past eleven weeks, five CDI competitions have taken place at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Though the national show during week twelve is still to come, international competition comes to an end this Sunday, March 26. Nine combinations were originally entered, but due to the FEI rule stating athletes must receive a 65% or higher in the qualifying Grand Prix to appear in the freestyle, only six gathered to compete in the last Friday Night Stars class. 

No stranger to the victory gallop, Morgan Barbancon once again earned the top spot with a 76.400% aboard her own gelding, Bolero (Johnson x Vincent). Despite being the oldest horse in the class at 17 years of age, he was one of the hottest of the evening. 

Morgan Barbancon and Boleroa
Morgan Barbancon and Bolero

Barbacon says, “He has done seven shows here now, but is still just as fresh as day number one – that makes me really happy. He was hot tonight in the test, but that shows he is in top shape.” Barbancon looks forward to her horses returning to Europe for the summer and continuing their upward momentum in the arena. Her first season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival did not disappoint and she has been verbally excited to return in 2024. 

Another well-seasoned pair joined Barbancon on the podium tonight. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven guided Lovsta Stuteri’s Devanto (De Chirico 3 x Lorentin) to a 75.715%. She and Devanto will also return to Europe within the coming weeks and aims to be back in the show arena not long after. Silfven shared a similar feeling with the 14-year-old gelding as Barbancon to Bolero, mentioning that she was surprised at how much energy he had in the warmup. 

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Devanto
Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven and Devanto

“I thought he would be a bit tired, but he went into the warmup wide awake. I was not sure what I would have going into the arena. Once I started to go around, he realized he had to work now. The feeling earlier was a bit too exciting, so I am really happy with how my test went.”

Third place was awarded to Dong Seon Kim aboard Galleria’s Bohemian, earning a 73.215%. The 13-year-old gelding by Bordeaux 28 x Samarant was acquired by Sportpferde Galleria earlier this year. With only two freestyles under their belt, the pair is beginning to find their groove. Catherine Laundrup-Dufor previously owned the gelding and spent seven years developing him into the world-class horse he is today.

Dong Seon Kim and Galleria's Bohemian
Dong Seon Kim and Galleria’s Bohemian

When asked how Kim dealt with the pressure of taking over the reins on such an accomplished horse, he replied, “I do not feel any. I am not a professional. I can not compare myself to them. I will never in my life ride like Catherine [Laundrup-Dufor]. I just try to do it in my own way and get the best results I can.”

Michael Klimke and Domino 957
Michael Klimke and Domino 957

Competition continues until Sunday, March 26, 2023. The following week is the final nationally-ranked show held at the grounds for the season.  

As the AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur said tonight in reference to the 2024 season, “Week one is right around the corner.”


CDI 4* Grand Prix Freestyle Results 

Rider / Country / Horse / Score

  1. Morgan Barbancon / FRA / Bolero / 76.400%
  2. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven / SWE / Devanto / 75.715%
  3. Dong Seon Kim / KOR / Galleria’s Bohemian / 73.215%
  4. Michael Klimke / GER / Domino 957 / 72.740%
  5. Paula Matute Guimon / ESP /  Delagronge / 72.285%
  6. Jemma Heran / AUS / Total Recall / 68.215%

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