Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino. ©️Susan Stickle.
Wellington, FL – February 20, 2020 – It was a full day of grand prix level action on the second day of week eight of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida. There were four classes at the level, two three-star classes, and two four-star.
All eyes were on the USA’s Adrienne Lyle in the FEI Grand Prix CDI4*, presented by Mission Control, who brought out her top horse, Salvino, for the first time this season, marking the start of their bid for a Tokyo Olympics place. They did not disappoint and led the class with a commanding 76.87%, their equal second highest-ever score in this test. Another Olympic hopeful, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) finished second with 72.935% on Lonoir and Lindsay Kellock (CAN) slotted into third on Sebastien with 69.826%.
Lyle’s test on Betsy Juliano’s 13-year-old stallion by Sandro Hit was a masterclass in harmony, and it was rewarded with clutches of nines, particularly for the light-footed passage and piaffe. The pair — who has not competed since Aachen in July 2019 — garnered a high score of 79.239% from the judge at C, Germany’s Henning Lehrmann.
“I’m thrilled with him; that’s one of the best feelings I’ve had in there,” said Lyle, who is ranked 20th in the world with Salvino. “He feels so happy and super excited to be here. Ever since he came on the grounds he’s been puffed up and ready to go and I was really happy with how focused he was despite all of his energy; it’s a great combination to be able to ride. It’s the balance that we’re always trying to find: to have that hotness and that fire and still have him be really rideable, with no mistakes, a clean test and focused was just wonderful.”
Of her decision not to compete in the previous week’s five-star CDI, she said: “In a year like this, you have to come out strong, especially when we did have a bit of a break. I really wanted to make sure everyone knows that he’s been fit and great and he really does feel good. We’re just trying to think of the big picture and always make the best decisions for him, so for fitness reasons we decided that the best plan would be to give him one more week of building up his fitness.”
After Aachen, Salvino travelled to Kylee Lourie’s farm in Denver, Colorado for some down time. The pair arrived in Wellington on November 1 and have been training with Debbie McDonald, preparing for this 2020 season debut. Salvino’s schedule consists of lessons two or three times a week, as well as sessions on the Aquatread and conditioning work in the jumping field at Kylee Lourie’s TyL Farm, just down the road from AGDF.
“It’s all about keeping his body and his mind happy,” added Lyle. “Our big goal is to qualify to go with the US riders to Europe in the hopes of trying to qualify for Tokyo. There’s a lot of stars that have to align for that, but mapping out our big goal, that’s what we’d love to shoot for.”
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.