Adrienne Lyle & Wizard Claim Saugerties World Cup Freestyle Qualifier

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Adrienne Lyle and Wizard. Courtesy: Debbie McDonald

SAUGERTIES, New York, Sept. 17–Adrienne Lyle on Wizard served notice of their return to the top ranks of American dressage when she won the NEDA Fall Festival World Cup qualifying Freestyle Saturday.

The 26-year-old assistant trainer to Debbie McDonald, Olympic and world championship medalist and the first American to win a World Cup title, rode the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Weltmeyer to a score of 74.925 per cent.

German-based Catherine Haddad Staller on Winyamaro was second on 71.475 per cent and Canada’s Jacqueline Brooks on D-Niro in third place on 67.579 per cent.

Adrienne and Wizard were placed first by all five judges, a high of 77.00 per cent from Germany’s Christoph Hess, 76.375 per cent from Sweden’s Bo Jena, 75.00 per cent from Linda Zang of the U.S., 74.250 from Lois Yukins of the U.S. and 72.00 per cent from Mariette Withages of Belgium.

The disparity in the judges’ marks was greater for some other riders–Catherine Haddad and Winyamaro received two scores of 73.750 per cent and one score of 67.00 per cent, while Heather Mason and Respekt were awarded a high of 70.50 per cent and a low of 63.125 per cent.

All of the low scores came from the Mariette Withages of Belgium.

Adrienne of Ketchum, Idaho, has been competing Wizard, owned by Peggy Thomas, at Grand Prix since 2009 and showed in Germany in spring 2010. She began working with Debbie McDonald six years ago.

Wizard was injured late last year and spent the winter and spring recovering. As a result, the combination did not earn enough scores to qualify for the national championships last week.

This was their second CDI since returning to top level competition. They won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special with scores above 72 per cent in both classes at Estes Park, Colorado CDI3* last month.

In the Grand Prix on Friday, the pair made a number of mistakes and were placed third behind Catherine and her two mounts, Winyamaro and Cadillac.

In the Freestyle on Saturday which is the competition that counts for World Cup qualifying, Adrienne and Wizard were clear victors.

“The ride today was thrilling,” she told dressage-news.com, “it was probably the most honest and most harmonious ever.

“He stayed right with me, offering everything he could.”

The piaffe and passage is improving as he gets stronger and more powerful, she said, and he “is more consistent which has always been the challenge with him.”

Adrienne said she is scheduled to compete at Devon, Pennsylvania, later this month then will return home to Idaho when the Wizard team will decide on their 2012 campaign.

Among the possibilities is campaigning for one of the two places available in the North American League for the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, next April that could include competing in Florida during the winter circuit.

The main goal, however, is the London Olympic Games next year.

Qualifying for the U.S. selection trials began on June 1 this year and run through the end of May, 2012.

“We’ll see how it unfolds,” she said. “We need to stay in the ring, get the exposure and compete against the best. We just can’t stay at home.”

Results – Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W

E: Yukins/USA   H: Withages/BEL   C: Zang/USA   M: Hess/GER   B: Jenna/SWE

Rider Nat Horse E % Rk. H % Rk. C % Rk. M % Rk. B % Pl. Total

Lyle, Adrienne USA Wizard


74.250% 1 72.000% 1 75.000% 1 77.000% 1 76.375% 1 74.925% 1

Haddad Staller, Catherine USA Winyamaro


71.375% 2 67.000% 3 71.500% 2 73.750% 2 73.750% 2 71.475% 2


Brooks, Jaqueline CAN D-Niro


68.375% 4 69.375% 2 68.000% 5 67.875% 4 64.250% 5 67.575% 3


Dutta, Susan USA Golden Choice DC


64.625% 6 65.500% 4 70.000% 3 68.625% 3 68.250% 3 67.400% 4


Mason, Heather USA Respekt


70.500% 3 63.125% 6 68.750% 4 67.500% 6 65.625% 4 67.100% 5


Strasser, Evi CAN Action Tyme


68.125% 5 64.750% 5 67.000% 6 67.875% 4 63.875% 6 66.325% 6