Adrienne Lyle & Salvino Set Another American Record to Win USA Olympic Observation Event Grand Prix Special

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Adrienne Lyle riding Salvino in another top scoring final centerline in the U.S. Olympic observation Grand Prix Special. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, June 11, 2021–Adrienne Lyle and Salvino set an American record score in winning the U.S. Olympic observation event Grand Prix Special to music Friday night two days after a record creating performance in the Grand Prix just over six weeks to the Tokyo Games.

Steffen Peters, a four-time Olympian, rode Suppenkasper to runner-up with Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo third, both on personal best scores, that put the trio at the top of contenders for the team of three riders and horses to be announced in a few days.

Adrienne and the 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion were awarded 81.830% from the international panel of five judges–only one American–that beat the American record of 81.824% posted by Laura Graves on Verdades almost four years ago. The previous best for Adrienne, based in Wellington, and “Vinnie” was 80.830%. They set a new Grand Prix record Wednesday night of 82.413%, breaking the American record of 81.537% that had also been held by Laura and Verdades.

“Wow! What can you even say to breaking a record two nights in a row!” Adrienne exclaimed after the ride where the final centerline of passage, piaffe, transition, passage and halt earned eight marks of the maximum of 10.

Adrienne said Salvino that she rode on the 2018 World Equestrian Games silver medal team “felt great and had plenty of power and energy left at the end of this hot and humid week. I’m really happy the balance and self carriage that seems to be improving each time out and I thought we had some of the most fluid canter work we have had.

“The final centerline felt super, and he came out of the ring feeling fresh and fit. I think that was a huge test in this heat and humidity.

“He is the horse you want with you down in the trenches. He totally gets it. If I start to slip up, he is always right there to catch me and those kinds of horses are special and there are not many like that which you get to sit on in your lifetime.

“Salvino tries his heart out every time and I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude and admiration towards him. And also towards (owner) Betsy Juliano, (coach) Debbie McDonald and my amazing grooms Morgan and Monica for being my village that get us down the centerline.”

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper posting a personal best score in the USA Olympic observation event Grand Prix Special. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Laura Graves, who was the commentator for the live streamed event, said: “I’m so proud to see my friends and team mates rising to such greatness. Adrienne has done a fantastic job bringing Salvino along and to see them solidify their spot as team anchor makes me smile. It also puts her in the company of the best in the world, proving once again, that American dressage has what it takes to make it on to the podium.”

Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, and Suppenkasper, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding that was bought by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang specially for the Olympics in Tokyo where Akiko’s mother lives, scored 79.352% that beat their previous high score of 77.340% logged last November. Three of the judges had the duo above 80%. Akiko, Jerry and their two children were at the event.

Steffen cited improvements in several aspects of the movements of “Mopsie,” as Suppenkasper is nicknamed. And, he said, Suppenkasper handles the heat and humidity well so is prepared for the Tokyo climate.

Sabine Schut-Kery of Napa, California, and Sanceo, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion, scored 78.298% that eclipsed their previous best of 77.468%. The pair turned in a new high for the Grand Prix Wednesday.

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo in the USA Olympic observation event Grand Prix Special. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The toughest choice for selectors may be for the reserve combination that will travel with the team to Tokyo.

Nick Wagman of San Diego on Don John placed fourth in both the Grand Prix with 75.652% and in the Special on 76.043%. He competed in Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival in 2020 and this year in pursuit of a place on the team.

Nick Wagman on Don John in the Grand Prix Special. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

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Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of Haymarket, Virginia on Lonoir, that qualified for the World Cup Final this year before it was  canceled, were fifth on 75.170%, the same placing as in the Grand Prix.

This event was created in Florida’s sub-tropical hot and humid climate under lights at night to be similar to conditions expected in Tokyo when the Olympics open July 23. Several hundred spectators paid for admission to the International Arena VIP marquee both nights of the event.

The Grand Prix Special at the Olympics will be to music though no artistic marks will be awarded and the gaits will not have to match the music, as was implemented at this event in the main jumping arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir in the Grand Prix Special. © 2021 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Several prospective team riders and horses will stay in Wellington to prepare for Tokyo, leaving from Miami at the end of the month for Europe where they will quarantine at Aachen, Germany before going to the Games.

“I’m super excited,” team coach Debbie McDonald said. “I think we’ve got three extremely strong horses, very capable going over 80%. I don’t think we’ve ever had this kind of depth before. I think it’s exciting for US dressage to have this happen.”

Debbie said she felt holding the observation event in conditions similar to what’s expected in Tokyo was “the smartest thing we could have done. I don’t think any other country has been able to duplicate what we have. Hopefully, when we get there it’s going to pay off.”

Results:

Grand Prix Special

Judges: Agnieszka Majewska Stephen Clarke Michael Osinski Ulrike Nivelle Cesar Torrente
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 81.830 USA Adrienne Lyle Salvino 82.766 82.234 82.872 80.532 80.745
2. 79.532 USA Steffen Peters Suppenkasper 80.213 80.851 80.213 77.872 78.511
3. 78.298 USA Sabine Schut-Kery Sanceo 77.66 79.255 78.511 79.043 77.021
4. 76.043 USA Nick Wagman Don John 75.319 76.277 76.915 75.213 76.489
5. 75.170 USA Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Rassing’s Lonoir 75 75.213 74.574 75.319 75.745
6. 73.404 USA Alice Tarjan Candescent 74.043 74.255 74.574 70.319 73.83
7. 73.319 USA Ben Ebeling Illuster Van De Kampert 74.468 72.553 73.83 73.723 72.021
8. 72.426 USA Adrienne Lyle Harmony’s Duval 72.128 72.66 72.021 72.979 72.34
9. 71.426 USA Charlotte Jorst Kastel’s Nintendo 71.277 70.745 70.745 73.936 70.426
10. 70.830 USA Jennifer Williams Millione 71.383 71.596 70.319 70.213 70.638
11. 69.596 USA Jessica Howington Cavalia 70.106 70.319 67.766 70.638 69.149
12. 69.532 USA Susan Dutta Don Design DC 68.191 70 69.787 69.043 70.638
13. 67.681 USA Susan Dutta Figeac DC 65.213 67.766 68.511 67.34 69.574
14. 67.043 USA Nick Wagman Ferano 67.043 67.362 66.936 65.553 68.319