Adrienne Lyle & Salvino Make History in Winning Wellington CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle

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Adrienne Lyle riding Salvino to career high score to win Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 25, 2022–Adrienne Lyle had  “hands down… the best feeling I’ve ever had in the ring in my life” to ride Salvino to a personal best score and the highest ever at the Global Dressage Festival to win the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle Friday night.

Adrienne of Wellington and the 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion scored 85.580%, beating their previous high score of 83.560% set at Aachen, Germany in 2019.

This musical performance on the final Friday Night Stars of the 2022 Global winter circuit came a day after posting the highest Grand Prix score for an American combinations since last year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

The musical ride was the 47th start since Adrienne’s first CDI on the horse almost exactly five years ago and became one of only two American combinations to ever win both Olympic and world championship silver medals. And the result surpassed the previous highest Global mark of 84.975% set by Laura Graves on Verdades in March 2018.

Sarah Tubman was brought to tears of her ride on First Apple, the Pan American Games individual gold medal partnership, that also produced a personal best 77.115%. It was only the second Big Tour musical ride for Sarah and the 12-year-old KWPN stallion.

Sarah Tubman and First Apple posting a personal best score in the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu on her Olympic mount All In placed third on 77.010%.

The two Americans plan to go to Europe to seek selection for the U.S. team for the world championships in Herning, Denmark in August. Brittany is expecting her second child in late summer and will miss the championships.

Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu on All In. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Adrienne described the ride on Salvino, owned by Betsy Juliano, as “beyond amazing.”

“It was hands down,” she said, “the best feeling I’ve ever had in the ring in my life. He just feels unbelievable. This is such a fun place to show. The crowd’s amazing and enthusiastic. The competition was super tonight, just a magical evening.”

Betsy Juliano thanked Bruce Springsteen and his wife, Patti Scialfa, for allowing the use the music specifically for this freestyle that Adrienne rode on Salvino at Aachen in 2019 with a few changes.

For Adrienne, the success at Wellington capped “an amazing season” in which Salvino “truly feels better than ever.”

“And so to end on this high note here for our Wellington season, is really wonderful,” said the 37-year-old rider who also competed at the 2012 Olympics in London on Wizard. “It’s a good stepping stone.

“So now he gets a little bit of rest again. He’s proven that he doesn’t need to go a whole lot. He’s always there when we want him to, so we’ll respect that of him.”

Adrienne Lyle in hug with Salvino owner Betsy Juliano and her lifelong coach and mentor, Debbie McDonald. © 2022 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

An emotional Sarah Tubman with her husband, Lee, an FEI judge who has also been coaching as well as help from Debbie McDonald, said the result with First Apple in only the second Big Tour Freestyle ever for Sarah was “pretty much an amazing feeling.”

“I haven’t shown at that many other places, to be honest,” she said about the career with First Apple that was at Small Tour for the Pan Am Games in 2019 before moving up to Grand Prix two years ago.

“But this is pretty addicting, and it’s really fun. You know, this is hard work. We all work really hard, we’re trying really hard, so it’s so cool to have the crowd help you, and also to be with two Olympians. These girls I totally look up to,” she said as she burst into tears.

“Sorry, I knew I was going to get emotional. So I’m really happy to just be here, so yeah, pretty cool.”

She thinks First Apple “really loves the freestyle” and so does she “because he feels like he’s having fun in there. So every show we’re beating ourselves, and that’s just the point, to keep getting a little better and a little more confident, and I wait to see where this takes us.”

Sarah Tubman and First Apple in their final centerline at the Global Dressage Festival CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2020 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Maarten Van der Heijden of the Netherlands, president of the ground jury, said the top five placegetters were of “very high quality” and the final three “were really outstanding.”

“Sarah’s horse was even much more energetic than yesterday,” he said. “He loves the music and the environment and the entourage here, so he was better, and I loved the passage.

“And then Salvino was already really good yesterday, but outstanding today. He has no weak points. And then also the choreography, degree of difficulty, the music, it’s all really high marks.”

Thomas Baur who with Monica Fitzgerald is the Global event director, said the 12-week Global circuit that includes seven CDIs wrapping up its 11th year was the “best season ever” for national competitions while international was one of the top three.

Results:

CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle

Judges: E: Sandra Hotz H: Peter Storr C: Maarten Van der Heijden M: Stephen Clarke B: Thomas Kessler

Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 85.580 USA Adrienne Lyle Salvino 86.225 85.875 84.1 87.45 84.25 86.275 (1)
2. 78.205 USA Sarah Tubman First Apple 77.025 79.6 80.475 76.6 77.325 77.246 (4)
3. 77.010 CAN Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu All In 76.3 76.9 76.375 80.45 75.025 77.681 (2)
4. 76.190 ESP Pablo Gómez Molina Ulises de Ymas 76.125 78.2 74.15 76.825 75.65 77.480 (3)
5. 74.430 SWE Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén Devanto 74.275 74.225 75.125 74.175 74.35 75.550 (5)
6. 73.970 ESP Paula Matute Guimón Delagronge 71.475 75.25 73.925 74.375 74.825 73.332 (6)
7. 73.635 USA Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Rassing’s Lonoir 74.475 73.925 72.675 74.05 73.05 72.905 (9)
8. 72.375 USA Alice Tarjan Serenade MF 73.225 72.775 72.625 72.625 70.625 73.056 (8)
9. 71.875 USA Jennifer Williams Millione 71.3 71.15 70.575 72.1 74.25 73.190 (7)
10. 71.605 USA Carly Taylor-Smith Rosalut NHF 71.775 73.45 70.825 72.575 69.4 70.298 (11)
11. 70.505 CAN Evi Strasser Disney Tyme 70.3 70.05 71.425 72.475 68.275 71.355 (10)
12. 67.675 USA Amina Bursese Fiti AL 69.425 64.45 68.175 69.95 66.375 66.795 (12)