Wellington, FL (January 28, 2012) – At the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach, Adrienne Lyle of the United States bested the international field to win the Grand Prix Special at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on Saturday afternoon. The 26 year old Idaho-based rider scored 73.244% riding Wizard, a 13 year old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas.
“My horse handled everything beautifully. I’m really excited and happy,” said Lyle, who placed fourth in Friday’s WDM Nürnberger Grand Prix, and was eligible to compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle, though she opted to ride in the Grand Prix Special instead. “As much as I would have liked to ride in the freestyle, I need a Grand Prix Special qualifying score for the Olympic Selection Trials,” she explained.
Also choosing to compete in the Grand Prix Special with impressive results was Heather Blitz of the United States, who placed second with her nine year old Danish Warmblood gelding Paragon. Fewer than three months ago, Blitz and Paragon had won team gold and individual silver at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, which are at Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I level, not Grand Prix.
“Who would have thought that just a few months ago I was in the small tour?” she said. “Now I am not only in the Grand Prix, but scoring over 70 in the Masters.” Blitz and Paragon received 72.044% for their Grand Prix Special test, which was their first in a CDI. Third place went to fellow American Todd Flettrich and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Otto, who received a score of 69.933%. The five member FEI Ground Jury consisted of Jayne Ayers (USA), Stephen Clarke (GBR), Wim Ernes (NED), Liselotte Fore (USA), and Isabelle Judet (FRA).
The audience for the Grand Prix Special was similarly impressive to the previous day’s Grand Prix, which may have set records for attendance in North American Dressage. “We had probably 1,500 people today,” said WDM co-founder and CEO Anthony Kies. “I think the turn-out is fantastic, and tonight we will see a sold out house.”
The grand finale of 2012 WDM Palm Beach is the Exquis Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday evening, where eight of the world’s top ranked horses and riders will compete for a share of the €70,000 Euros in prize money for that class. A total of €100,000 ($130,000) at each WDM competition makes the WDM presented by Axel Johnson Group the richest dressage series in the world.
Live streaming video will continue to bring WDM Palm Beach action to fans around the world on Saturday. In addition to their broadcast at www.internationalpoloclub.com, IPC Palm Beach has created a smartphone application that will be available at the Jim Brandon Center. The application will provide live stream video of the competition, as well as up-to-the-minute information about the competitors and results. USEF Network’s live streaming coverage can be found at www.usefnetwork.com. Eurosport will also broadcast a feature about the WDM Palm Beach on the February 22nd episode of Wednesday Selection.
Results WDM Palm Beach Grand Prix Special presented by IPC Palm Beach
1. Adrienne Lyle (USA) Wizard – 73.244%
2. Heather Blitz (USA) Paragon – 72.044%
3. Todd Flettrich (USA) Otto – 69.933%
4. Pierre St. Jacques (USA) Lucky Tiger – 66.742%
5. Per Sandgaard (SWE) Lomumba Havdal – 64.889%
6. Victoria Winter (CAN) Proton – 63.889%
7. James Koford (USA) Pharaoh – 63.089%
8. Yvonne Losos de Muñiz (DOM) Liebling II – 62.911 %
Full results of the WDM Palm Beach can be found at www.WorldDressageMasters.com.
World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Fast Facts:
What: North America’s only CDI5*, and part of the richest dressage series in the world. Up to twenty of the world’s top dressage stars will compete for 100,000 Euros in prize money at the WDM Palm Beach.
When: January 26-28, 2012
*Gates open at 11:00 am each day for WDM Palm Beach ticket holders only. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Ticket holders are encouraged to arrive for Saturday evening’s Grand Prix Freestyle at 5:30 pm.
Friday January 27:
2 pm to 5 – CDI5* Grand Prix
Saturday January 28:
2 pm to 4:30 – CDI5* Grand Prix Special
7:30 pm to 10:30 – CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle
Where: Jim Brandon Equestrian Center – Okeeheelee Park South, 7500 Forest Hill Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33413
Producer: Wellington Classic Dressage – www.wellingtonclassicdressage.com – Noreen O’Sullivan 561-227-1570 or John Flanagan 561-714-9058
Official Caterer: International Polo Club Catering
Past WDM results, as well as complete WDM Rider Rankings can also be found on the WDM website: www.WorldDressageMasters.com
WDM Palm Beach Presenting Sponsor: International Polo Club Palm Beach
WDM Presenting Partner: Axel Johnson Group
WDM Official Partners: team EXQUIS, Moorland Investments and Moorland Stables, Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe
WDM Official Supplier: Jerich International
WDM Global Media Partner: Eurosport
Media Contacts: Mason Phelps 561-371-0118 or Karen Robinson 604-318-3121