Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 27, 2020 – A few weeks ago when the U.S. technical advisor Debbie McDonald reported Salvino would not be ready to compete at the mandatory U.S. team outing during the CDI5*, rumors began to fly about the health and preparedness of one of the top American horses. The dressage community had little need for panic however, as Olympian Adrienne Lyle and Salvino rode confidently down centerline to win AGDF 8’s CDI4* Grand Prix (to qualify for the Grand Prix Special).
Lyle and the 13-year-old Hanovarian stallion Salvino, owned by Betsy Juliano, made quite the debut in their first CDI competition since they helped the U.S. Dressage Team win bronze at the CDIO5* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany last July. The duo, who have been competing internationally together since 2017, were thrilled to be back in the competition ring after a seven month break, as they have hopes to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this summer.
On Thursday, the judges panel ranged from 74.783% to 79.239%, which earned them a total of 76.87%, which oddly enough is the exact same score as their Grand Prix in Aachen. They racked up 11 scores of 9.0 from the judges, mainly from their stellar execution of piaffe and passage.
Riding into second place was fellow American Olivia LaGoy-Weltz aboard her own 16-year-old gelding Lonoir with a 72.935%. The pair have been steadily racking up top placings in Wellington this winter, including two wins and two second place finishes in the CDI-W’s that took place earlier this season in Wellington.
Third place was awarded to Canadian Lindsey Kellock riding the Enterprise Farm LLC’s 14-year-old Rhinelander gelding Sebastien with a score of 69.826%. Only partnered since 2019 the team have remained consistent throughout their test with scores varying from 68.478% to 71.848% with highlights in the trot half pass, both passages, and the final halt.
Holding onto an early lead Japan’s Kichi Harada aboard Hanuka Taguchi’s 17-year-old KWPN gelding, Egistar won Thursday’s CDI4* Grand Prix to qualify for the Freestyle with a score of 68.065%. The pair have found success this year in Wellington, already clinching two wins in the CDI3*. Second place, with a 67.739%, was American Jessica Jo Tate and the 17-year-old gelding Westphalian gelding Faberge, who is owned by Elizabehth Guarisco. Rounding out the top three with a score of 67.413% was Jeevraj Grewal’s 17-year-old Hanovarian gelding, Denzello ridden by the American Jessica Kozel .
Results: CDI4* Grand Prix (to qualify for the Grand Prix Special)
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Salvino / 76.87
2. Olivia LaGoy / USA / Lonoir / 72.935
3. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / 69.826
4. Naima Moreira Laliberte / CAN / I Do Kiss / 69.718
5. Jill Irving / CAN / Degas 12 / 69.478
6. Jennifer Schrader-Williams / USA / Millione / 69.239
Results: CDI4* Grand Prix (to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle)
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Kiichi Harada / JPN / Egistar / 68.065
2. Jessica Jo Tate / USA / Faberge / 67.739
3. Jessica Kozel / USA / Denzello / 67.413
4. Dongseon Kim / KOR / Belstaff / 64.783
5. Karen Lipp / USA / Whitney / 64.304
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Adrienne Lyle – CDI4* Grand Prix Winner
On her test:
“I’m thrilled with him. He feels so happy and super excited to be here. Ever since he came on the grounds he has been puffed up and ready to go. I was really happy with how focused he was despite all of his energy. It was a great combination to be able to ride. To be able to have that hotness and that fire and still have him be really rideable, no mistakes, clean test, focused, was just wonderful. I’m really happy.”
On her gameplan with Salvino:
“I think in a year like this you have to come out strong, especially when we did have a bit of a break. I want everyone to know that he has been fit and is doing great. He really does feel good — we’re just trying to think of the big picture and make the best decisions for him.”
On not competing last week:
“When we sat down and thought what would be the best plan for him regardless of anything else, we wanted to add one more week to build up his fitness. He met the criteria to not have to compete so we didn’t have to do it. Of course, the second you make a plan to what you say you’re going to do the rumors like to fly. I think it’s a bit of a maternal instinct. I think ‘what’s best for him?’ Then that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t really care what anyone else says, and Debbie and Betsy fully support me in those decisions. It’s great to have the backing of a trainer and an owner that will put his welfare first, always. It makes a big difference to have a trainer who believes in your gut and intuition.”
On what she’s been doing in terms of travel and training:
“We went back to Kylee Lourie’s farm in Denver, Colorado, after Aachen and were there for a couple months. They have an easy time with trail rides and we did video lessons with Debbie [McDonald] a couple days a week, but they always get a bit of a let down after Europe. Then, we came back down here in November and we have been training with Debbie ever since then.”
On the pair’s daily training now that Salvino is a confident Grand Prix mount:
“As they get to know their job more and more — I love that phase. A lot of it is managing his physical and mental health. Debbie and I have to pick on all the little things to get the points up. He knows his job and he knows what to do now, so it’s lessons two to three days a week, then he goes on the aqua tred, or he goes on a hack or to do conditioning work in the jumping field. That’s been a big help for him because he does know his job, so if we can just keep his body and his mind happy.”
On her goals for the season
“Our big goal is to hope to qualify to go with the U.S. riders to Europe and then try to qualify for Tokyo. There’s a lot of stars that have to align for that but mapping out our big goal, that’s what we’d love to shoot for.”
On getting back in the ring first with her second Grand Prix mount Duval
“Having Duval [in the show ring] was incredibly helpful actually to not have myself be sitting on the side lines over the last two months — at least I wasn’t rusty. They are very different in a lot of ways. Duval’s mind works a little bit faster than his legs sometimes, so it’s trying to settle his mind down. Salvino is a little more simple that way, but they both have wonderful characteristics and they are so talented.”