Adrienne Lyle and Salvino. Photo © SusanJStickle.com.
The 2023 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival opened on Thursday, January 12, with a victory for U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Adrienne Lyle. She and Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro HIT x Donnerhall) won the FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix, presented by Lövsta Stuteri, to start the final leg of their FEI World Cup™ Final qualifying bid in style.
All three grand prix podium finishers scored over 70%, with Lyle and Salvino topping the list with a 77.5% as the last to compete. The class was a qualifier for the FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix Freestyle, which takes place under the lights on Friday night during the first of the “Friday Night Stars” series.
“He’s just always so incredible in the ring,” said Lyle of her mount from the Tokyo Olympic games. “He went in again today with another mistake free test. He really clicked into the rhythm for the piaffe and passage work. I think we still have more in the tank for the freestyle, so I’m excited about that.
“It should be nice and cool weather tomorrow with a packed house and he loves both those things,” continued Lyle of Salvino, owned by Betsy Juliano.
Of her grand prix test, Lyle discussed the high points, saying, “The piaffe, passage, and last centerline were super. I love feeling him finishing a test with that much energy and enthusiasm.”
Fellow U.S. rider Sarah Tubman and First Apple, and 2010 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Vivaldi x T.C.N. Partout) finished in the runner-up position with a score of 70.5% for owner Summit Farm. Rounding out the podium, Sweden’s Caroline Darcourt posted a score of 70.283% riding Lord Django, a 2010 Hanoverian gelding (Stalypso x Londonderry) for owner Lövsta Stuteri.
Caroline Darcourt Leads Off for Sweden
Opening the day on Thursday, Caroline Darcourt stole the show in the CDI1* FEI Prix St. Georges, presented by Harmony Sporthorses. Five scores broke into the 70% range, but Darcourt and Bournonville, a 2013 Danish-bred gelding (Bon Bravour x Loudini) owned by Lövsta Stuteri, topped the list with a 73.029%.
“It feels very good to be back in Florida; it’s been three years since the last time I was here,” said Darcourt of her return to Wellington. “I’m very happy to be here with this horse and the win, I would say, was over my expectations. I’m really thrilled about it.”
Great Britain’s Susan Pape finished second on a score of 72.756% riding Harmony’s V-Plus for owner Harmony Sporthorses. In third, Charlotte Jorst (USA) and Federle posted a 71.882% for owner Kastel Denmark.
Darcourt spoke highly of Bournonville after their test, saying, “He’s been with us since he was late seven, and he has a very sensitive side. Now I feel he’s finally secure with me and he really likes the ring and his job. He is so rideable and has all the qualities.
“I would say the trot work felt very fluid and he was with me the whole time and really listened to me,” said Darcourt of her Prix St. Georges test. “The canter work and the first pirouette I was happy with, but there is more to work on. With him, the goal now is to keep moving up.”
For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.