For the first time, two recipients will receive The Dressage Foundation’s $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage prize in the same year. The winners are Adrienne Lyle with Wizard and Sharon McCusker with Wrigley.
Lyle is based in Hailey, Idaho, where she is assistant trainer to Debbie McDonald at River Grove Farm. Lyle has been riding Parry and Peggy Thomas’ Wizard since 2007, and she won the U.S. Equestrian Federation Young Adult ‘Brentina Cup’ championship a year later. She represented the United States internationally for the first time in 2012 as the individual rider at the London Olympic Games. Lyle plans to use the funds to train with Klaus Balkenhol this summer in Germany and to compete at several European CDIs.
“It’s important to keep a presence at European competitions, to continue to challenge yourself and put yourself up against the best,” said Lyle. “I am so thankful to have this opportunity, thanks to the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize, and I know I will make the most of every minute over there.”
McCusker is the owner of Souhegan Farm in Ashby, Mass., and has been a dressage trainer and competitor for more than 20 years. She has been on the USEF High Performance list with three self-trained FEI horses, as well as being long-listed for the FEI World Equestrian Games with a previous mount, Juli Sherif.
McCusker and Wrigley have been a part of the USEF’s Developing Horse Program for two years and have garnered many championships and top placings in Developing Horse classes and Young Horse Grand Prix qualifiers.
McCusker plans to take Wrigley to Germany to train with Hubertus Schmidt with the goal of qualifying for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2016 Olympic Games.
“The timing of this could not have been better for the development of Wrigley,” said McCusker. “Having the opportunity to train and compete in Europe with him in his first year at Grand Prix is fabulous. It will allow me to really get the best start possible for Wrigley with consistent top coaching and exposure to top class riding. He is my ‘once in a life time horse,’ and this prize will help me to bring him to his full potential. Thank you Carol Lavell and The Dressage Foundation for offering such a generous grant.”