Adrienne Lyle Back at Top Sport With Lineup to Contend for USA World Games Team & Beyond
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Dec. 25, 2017
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Within a year of returning to the competition arena, three horses developed by Adrienne Lyle are on America’s high performance squads–the stallion Salvino at Elite, Horizon pre-Elite and Harmony’s Duval developing. The lineup enables Adrienne to contend for the American team for the Tryon World Equestrian Games in September and beyond.
And unusual in American dressage, two of the three horses are owned by different syndicates that spread ownership across the country, expand the support base of the sport as well as making more affordable the high cost to buy and maintain top horses.
Adrienne has wrapped up her first year back in the show ring after a 2 1/2-year break following the retirement of her 2012 Olympic and 2014 World Equestrian Games mount Wizard. She had competed Wizard in CDIs beginning in 2009 while working for Debbie McDonald at the Thomas family River Grove Farm in Idaho’s Sun Valley and where Adrienne’s parents owned a winter home. The Thomases had owned Debbie’s championship horse Brentina as well as Wizard.
A group of Americans banded together to find a new team prospect for Adrienne.
In 2015, the group acquired a Hanoverian stallion Sandronnerhall, an amalgam of the sire Sandro Hit from a Donnerhall mare from Spain with a few young horse and national shows on his record.
Renamed Salvino and going Idaho out of range of wagging tongues in the gossipy world of dressage, Adrienne went to work with the stallion. To her, the break did not feel like a lull.
“It was not like we were just hanging out,” she told dressage-news.com. “We were busy. The way we developed and came out it obviously paid off.”
After a couple of starts at national level at the end of 2016, the pair were ready for the Big Tour, squeezing in a CDI3* in Wellington in March before heading to the European summer circuit.
A CDI3* at Rotterdam to get their feet wet–yes, literally as it rained a lot which is not unusual there–then on to the world’s premier horse show at Aachen, Germany and their first American team performance in the CDIO5* Nations Cup. Team mates were Olympic bronze medalists Laura Graves on Verdades and Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, who also are coached by Debbie McDonald, and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir.
In the Deutsche Bank stadium Adrienne and Salvino scored 73.608 per cent in the Grand Prix Special, a personal best and enough to join the US Elite squad.
“So far,” said Adrienne, “I’m thrilled with everything. I think he can be right up there, competitive with everything I saw in Europe. He has incredible potential.
“I love his incredible mind, to go into those big venues and be unfazed. He walked into Aachen like he was showing in a back ring at Global, looking around and saying, ‘How nice that you guys showed up’.”
A new experience for the pair on this winter’s Global circuit will be Salvino’s first Freestyle under lights–the last time Adrienne did so was on Wizard.
Salvino will be 11 years old a week from now when all horses in the northern hemisphere automatically have a New Year’s Day birthday. A day later Adrienne will celebrate her 33rd birthday.
Horizon, an Oldenburg mare that also turns 11 on Jan. 1 and is what Debbie McDonald describes as “quite phenomenal” at Grand Prix. She was ridden by Adrienne on to the pre-Elite standings after a year at small tour and capturing the United States Intermediate 1 championship.
Horizon (Hotline x Don Schufro) was bought six years ago by Elizabeth Juliano, a self-made businesswoman who is also in the Salvino syndicate as well as a supporter of Laura Graves as well as others.
Horizon, Adrienne said, “is coming faster than I anticipated. A couple of months ago she couldn’t do one-tempi changes. She’s gotten them now.
“I’ll take her into Intermediate II in the next month or two. We’re not too far from the Grand Prix, maybe in the spring. She’s awesome in the ring. If she seems ready we will just go.”
Adrienne described Horizon as a diva, who as a human would have been a showgirl on the stage.
Harmony’s Duval, bred in the United States by Leslie Malone of Harmony Sporthorses, was picked out by Bob McDonald in 2013 and competed initially by Adrienne. Kylee Lourie owner of the TyL farm in Wellington that’s managed by Bob and where Debbie and Adrienne are based then owned the horse that Adrienne competed at CDI small tour through last winter and in the U.S. Int. 1 championships.
Based on the experience syndicating Salvino, six amateur riders from the northwest that Adrienne describes as a “wonderful fun group” bought the gray gelding registered as KWPN (Rousseau x Riverman).
Duval, who turns 10 years old next week and is on the U.S. Developing list, may be ready for Adrienne to move up to Grand Prix by the end of 2018.