Adrienne Lyle & Salvino Score 80% to Win Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix, Only 3rd American Combo to Join 80% Club

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Adrienne Lyle rides Salvino to victory in Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix on score of 80.065%, only third American combination to join 80% club. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, April 1, 2021–Adrienne Lyle of the United States rode Salvino to victory in the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Thursday on a score of 80.065%, only the third American combination ever to join the 80% Club. Laura Graves who holds the U.S. Grand Prix record on Verdades was on hand to congratulate Adrienne and Salvino, who together were on the U.S. silver medal team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

The result for Adrienne who is based in Wellington and the 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion came in the first competition for the partnership in 13 months. It smashed their previous best Grand Prix score of 77.152% posted at Leudelange, Luxembourg in July 2019.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of Haymarket, Virginia and Lonoir placed second on a personal best 76.152%. The pair have re-focused toward Olympic team selection after successfully competing for an invitation to the World Cup Final centered on the musical freestyle. The World Cup was to have been held in Gothenburg, Sweden at the same time as this CDI4* but was canceled amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the more recent equine herpes virus outbreak that has further clamped down on European horse shows.

Canada’s Naïma Moreira Laliberté rode Statesman, her 2019 Pan American Games team gold medal mount, to third place on 72.500%, also a personal best score for the rider, aged 24, and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir in the CDI4* Grand Prix on their way to a personal best score. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The other American 80% Grand Prix riders are Steffen Peters of San Diego, California who rode Ravel to a score of 81.383% in Florida in January of 2012 and Laura Graves on Verdades whose best Grand Prix result of 81.537% was posted at the Tryon World Games in September 2017 that is also the U.S. record for the Grand Prix.

The only other Grand Prix score of at least 80% this year was 81.848% posted by German superstar Isabell Werth on her world No. 2 mount, Weihegold OLD.

“It felt amazing,” said Adrienne of the horse that was bought for her as a future team prospect after Wizard was retired following the 2012 London Olympics. Originally named Sandronnerhall, he arrived from Spain in Wellington in May 2015 and Adrienne brought him out at international Grand Prix in Wellington exactly four years ago.

“He just never ceases to amaze me with his heart,” she said, “that horse has a bigger heart than any animal on this planet, I think. He’s just proven time and time again that he’ll be there when I need him to be there if we listen to him and don’t overdo it.

“We waited to come out last year until later in the season and it worked, so we decided to wait again this year, and so far it’s off to a good start. Hopefully we can put in a few more performances like that leading up to the summer.”

A tearful Adrienne Lyle with Salvino and her long-time mentor and U.S. team coach Debbie McDonald after the 80% CDI4* Grand Prix. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Stephen Clarke of Great Britain, one of two 5* judges on the panel of five officials, awarded the highest score, 83.261%. He said the ride “made my hair stand up on my neck.”

Despite the long break out of the arena, Adrienne said Salvino “felt really fit and fresh, and was even squealing a little going around the outside of the ring like he was really fired up, and I like him to be in that spot where he’s really excited to go in there.

“I actually started crying after the ride, which I hardly ever do. He didn’t put a foot out of place, and he’s so amazing. I could tell he was excited and fresh. We haven’t been in there in over a year, and when he went down centerline he focused and knew it was time to put everything aside. He really knows how to be there for you, and not many horses are like that, you don’t get to sit on many of those in a lifetime.”

While waiting to bring out Salvino, Adrienne has been competing Harmony’s Duval, the 13-year-old American-bred KWPN gelding on which until this competition she was ranked fourth on the American Olympic qualifying list.

Laura Graves congratulating Adrienne Lyle after Adrienne’s ride on Salvino in the CDI4* Grand Prix for a score of more than 80% to join the club of which only Laura on Verdades and Steffen Peters on Ravel are members. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Debbie McDonald, her coach, and owner Betsy Juliano had all agreed on the competition schedule “that less is more, and you have to stick to your gut.”

“It’s hard sometimes when you’re sitting at home and you’re still six months away from the show and you want to be working on things. But you have to tell yourself ‘no, just keep him fit and happy and he’ll be there when you go to the ring.’ So far it’s proven true.”

The Grand Prix Special, that is the major focus of the Americans as it will decide team medals at the Olympics after eight teams move forward from the Grand Prix, is scheduled for Saturday in this last of 12 weeks of the Global circuit.

Adrienne and Salvino scored 80.170%, a personal best, in the duo’s sole Grand Special a year ago.

The pair will then head to the newly upgraded CDI4* at Tryon, host of the 2018 World Games, later in April with hopes of being named to the short list.

Results:

CDI4* Grand Prix for the Grand Prix Special

Judges: Magnus Ringmark Michael Osinski Jane Weatherwax Stephen Clarke Cesar Torrente
Final Ranking Score % Prize Money Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 80.065 1500.00 USA Adrienne Lyle Salvino 78.478 80.543 79.891 83.261 78.152
2. 76.152 1000.00 USA Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Rassing’s Lonoir 76.63 76.087 75.87 76.957 75.217
3. 72.500 700.00 CAN Naima Moreira Laliberté Statesman 71.739 71.957 74.457 73.37 70.978
4. 71.869 500.00 CAN Chris Von Martels Eclips 70.435 70.326 73.043 73.478 72.065
5. 71.196 400.00 USA Susan Dutta Don Design DC 71.522 71.196 71.63 71.522 70.109
6. 70.848 300.00 USA Benjamin Ebeling Illuster Van De Kampert 70.978 70.978 71.63 70.543 70.109
7. 70.674 200.00 CAN Diane Creech Chrevis Christo 69.13 70.217 71.63 73.37 69.022
8. 69.739 200.00 USA Catherine Haddad Staller Frankie 70.109 69.022 69.13 71.196 69.239
9. 68.739 100.00 USA Jan Ebeling Indeed 67.717 68.478 70 70.978 66.522