Wellington, Fla.—March 28
Yesterday, Adrienne Lyle said that she had opted not to do this evening’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI***** because her mount, Wizard, had done his freestyle the last two shows, and she needed to get back to focusing on the Grand Prix Special in preparation for the selection trial for the 2014 World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team.
Not only did she get some valuable practice in this afternoon’s AGDF Grand Prix Special CDI*****, but she also posted another personal best for her and Wizard—75.58 percent.
She was pleased with their performance after having not performed the test in a while.
“I still didn’t get the canter transition as good as I’ve been getting at home. But other than that, [we were] less rusty. I think to have a Special that solid under our belt is very helpful for both of our confidence. I heard the judges gave him a 10 for his pirouette. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a 10 in a CDI.”
She noted that a highlight of their tonight was consistency. “The passage felt really easy; I wasn’t having to work too hard for it. Everything is just really starting to come together.
“What a way to end [the Adequan Global Dressage Festival],” she continued. “You always hope you can end it going up. I couldn’t be more happy with him.”
Michael Barisone rode Lauren Sprieser’s Ellegria into second place with a 69.32 percent. Barisone said he never anticipated such success with the mare.
“She’s a wonderful horse. She’s as honest as the day is long. She’s very, very honest, and she’s very simple to ride all the time. I just never thought we would ever be around about 70 percent,” Barisone admitted.
But he is now hopefully planning for a future with her. “George Morris says, ‘Always plan a big event three seasons out.’ And so this is three seasons from [the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro]. I hope to keep her. I have to sell her, but it looks like maybe the syndication is the way to go for us, so maybe I can sell her to me.”
He admitted that he thinks the mare has a lot of potential for improvement.
“I looked at my test and said there’s at least five more percent there. This is a dead green, eight Grand Prix classes under her belt, second to Adrienne—she’s been five seasons at Grand Prix with [Wizard].”
But beyond her talent, Barisone explained that Ellegria brought something else to his life.
“She was my third string horse; the two best ones got hurt, and we’re still hoping that they’re going to come back. But she is saving me. It [happens] so easy. They get injured, and all your hope is gone, and you’re like, ‘Why am I doing this, why am I getting up in the morning?’
“And then this one pops up in my life—and she’s put the faith back in me.”
Full results available at www.globaldressagefestival.net.