Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino. ©️Susan Stickle.
Wellington, FL – February 29, 2020 – It was a heady day of new personal bests, with both Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) bringing their A-game to the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI4*, presented by Mission Control. Lyle ultimately came out on top with a dazzling display on Salvino, garnering 80.17% in week eight of the 12-week Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.
This may have been his first show since Aachen in July 2019, but Salvino showed no signs of ring rustiness. He and Lyle produced another harmonious performance to remain undefeated this week, and their quest for an Olympic berth remains on track.
LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir, her own and Mary Anne McPhail’s 16-year-old gelding by De Noir, scored a new personal best of 75.617% for second place. Another American lady rider filled third: Jennifer Schrader-Williams rode the 17-year-old Millione, by Milan, to 71.064%.
“I’m amazed,” beamed the 35-year-old from Idaho. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from him. The test was everything you’d hoped in the back of your mind that you’d be able to achieve. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was secretly hoping we’d get at least close to 80%.
“We’ve had him for five years now, and been showing the grand prix for three years, but developed him slowly,” said Lyle, who debuted Salvino at big tour at AGDF three years ago. “I’m sure lucky to have the support of Betsy [Juliano] as an owner and Debbie [McDonald] as a trainer who believe in developing them slowly. We always thought he had talent, but we took our time and now he really feels like he’s ready to put it all together. He’s at a place in his mind and body now where he’s able to be consistent and not be stressed about doing any of it.
Watch Adrienne Lyle’s winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.
“He didn’t change at all [from the warm-up]; he didn’t get hot or dull or strong and that’s huge for us,” she added. “To get those last few little points, it’s all about the refinement and the rideability. He’s the coolest thing I’ve ever sat on. To get an 80% in a grand prix is something not many people get to do and it’s an incredible honor to sit on him.”
Owner Betsy Juliano was ringside to watch her horse perform. She said: “That horse trusts Adrienne for every single second. She trains him with complete empathy and understanding and thoroughness, so what we see here in the arena is the result of all that. Every single day. She knows every molecule of that horse, so as an owner I rest every night knowing that he’s in the best hands.
“I’ve never sold a horse; any one I’ve ever acquired will be kept for life and that will be the same for him,” added Juliano. “It’s important to me that the rider has that security, but also I’m not in it to make money. We do talk about probably breeding him once his competition career is over, but not until then, because we want to keep him focused on this.”
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.