USA’s Adrienne Lyle & Salvino Post Career High Grand Prix Score to Capture Wellington CDI3* Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 25, 2018–Adrienne Lyle riding Salvino in their first competition in six months, posted a career high Grand Prix score for the American team rider to win the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Grand Prix Thursday.
Adrienne and the 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion that she said “felt amazing” scored 74.543 per cent, a new high for the American team partnership that surpassed their previous best Grand Prix result of 72.420 per cent set at Rotterdam last June.
In only the second Big Tour competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center–the first was their inaugural Grand Prix last March before heading to Europe–the scores moved progressively higher as the ride went on.
By the end of the performance, the 33-year-old Olympic rider of Ketchum, Idaho had set a career best Grand Prix score. Adrienne’s previous best was 74.160 per cent set in 2014 on her 2012 Olympic and 2014 World Equestrian Games mount Wizard, now retired.
The scores included a nine for riding from the American judge Janet Foy at C in the now-abbreviated collective marks. Germany’s Henning Lehrmann awarded a nine for the final halt.
The pair plan to ride in the CDI5* here in two weeks as part of the campaign seeking a place on the American team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in September.
Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida on Doktor placed second on 72.413 per cent with the Canadian Olympic pair of Megan Lane and Caravella third on 71.783 per cent.
After last year’s debut at Global on the horse that was originally bought by a syndicate to provide Adrienne with a new team prospect, the pair competed at Rotterdam in June and on the U.S. silver medal Nations Cup team in Aachen, Germany in July.
They returned home to keep training in Idaho with Debbie McDonald, who also coaches Laura Graves and Verdades. Plans to do a warm-up national show in Wellington were scrapped and Thursday’s ride was the first in the competition arena since Aachen.
“So far he’s been pretty good about any venue we’ve gone in,” she said. “He’s pretty solid in hs mind that way. It’s a bit of a gamble but it seems like he handled it fine.”
The ride was error-free but Adrienne said parts where “we weren’t up to snuff was because I haven’t been in the Grand Prix ring in a while. He felt amazing.”
“I was really pleased with his energy and his effort. For a stallion it’s taken him a while for his strength to catch up with his big movement. It feels like he’s getting to a place now where he can maintain the package he needs to maintain with the energy you need to produce every day reliably.”
“He’s never let me down in the ring,” she added. “I need to trust him more. I think I over-aid in some parts. I can be even quieter in the ring. I just have to do it enough in the ring to believe he will be there for me. So far, he’s been there for me every single time, everything I’ve asked.
“That’s pretty phenomenal.”
She described Salvino, ridden for the first time since Elizabeth Juliano took sole ownership of the stallion a week ago, “As the best I’ve ever sat on, quality wise. He’s got an incredible ability to collect for the piaffe and passage and he has the ability to relax into huge walks. He’s got all the parts that you need.
“It’s just going to be a process to get to know each other and build the strength.”
On top of that, she said, Salvino “is the kindest, sweetest horse I’ve ever had.”