Wizard, Ridden by Adrienne Lyle at Olympics, World Games, Retires at 16
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 22, 2015–Wizard, the Oldenburg gelding that Adrienne Lyle rode for the United States at the Olympic Games in London and the World Equestrian Games in Normandy is being retired at 16 years of age.
The decision came after Wizard sustained a tendon injury that was described as minor but enough to dash hopes of a farewell performance at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in mid-April, fittingly in the Thomas & Mack Arena named for the horse’s owner, Parry Thomas, a legendary supporter of American dressage.
“I would have loved for him to finish his career in that special arena that means so much to his owner Parry Thomas, but it just wasn’t in the cards,” Adrienne of Ketchum, Idaho told dressage-news.com.
“So we have decided that with World Cup out of the plan, we are not going to push him for another season. He is 16 this year, and he owes me nothing.
“He has done so much for me, the least I can do for him is ensure a retirement that he can enjoy by being sound and healthy. So we will do any rehab needed, then let him enjoy his retirement he so deserves.”
Adrienne, who turned 30 years old this month, partnered with Wizard (Weltmeyer x Classiker) in 2006 when she became an assistant trainer to Debbie McDonald at the Thomas family’s River Grove Farm in Hailey, Idaho. Debbie rode Brentina, also owned by the Thomases, to Olympic and World Games medals and became the first American to capture the World Cup.
Debbie developed Wizard to Prix St. Georges by 2006.
Adrienne moved the German-bred horse to international Grand Prix in 2009 and the following year the duo competed in Europe for the first time, at Hagen and Munich. This correspondent observed Adrienne focused from the first ride of the day to the last on some of the world’s best pairs, moving from the warmup and competition arenas only to prepare and compete herself.
Just two years later, Adrienne and Wizard captured both the CDI5* Grand Prix and Freestyle in Forida then went on to qualify as an individual combination for the United States at the 2012 Olympics.
In 2014, the pair had their best year ever logging seven international victories and three second places at Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival where they had moved for the winter with Debbie McDonald.
Adrienne and Wizard won a place on the squad of eight U.S. horses and riders to go to Europe to decide the American team for the WEG, where she and her team mates were given little chance of placing in the top six.
The performance by the American team of Steffen Peters on Legolas, Laura Graves on Verdades, Adrienne on Wizard and Tina Konyot on Calecto V won them fourth place behind the German, Dutch and British powerhouses.
Wizard has not been competed since the WEG at the end of August.