Salvino And Cannon Creek Earn USEF Horse Of The Year Honors

Jan 16, 2023 - 8:14 AM

The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 16-year-old Hanoverian stallion, was voted the 2022 International Horse of the Year and Cannon Creek, the Wheeler family’s 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, the 2022 National Horse of the Year. The awards were voted by the USEF membership and the results announced Saturday during the SmartPak/USEF Horse of the Year Awards Dinner held during USEF’s annual meeting in Lexington, Kentucky.

International Horse Of The Year: Salvino

Salvino (Sandro Hit—Dynastie, Donnerhall) is currently ranked 11th in the FEI Dressage World rankings with Olympian Adrienne Lyle.

“Vinny’s” success in 2022 started at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, where he and Lyle placed first in the CDI5* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at AGDF 7 in February and won the CDI4* Grand Prix and Grand Prix freestyle—with a person best score of 85.58%—at AGDF 11 in March.

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President Tom O’Mara presented (from left) owner Betsy Juliano, rider Adrienne Lyle, trainer Debbie McDonald and groom Morgan Klingensmith with Salvino’s International Horse Of The Year award. Mollie Bailey Photos

In August, Salvino added to a long list of career accomplishments at the Blue Hors FEI Dressage World Championship (Denmark), where he and Lyle were the only U.S. combination to compete in the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and freestyle. In the freestyle, Salvino posted the second-highest score of his career (83.70%) to finish sixth.

Salvino has successfully completed three major championships with Lyle, who was named USEF’s 2022 International Equestrian of the Year two days earlier. Lyle says she’s cherishes every day she gets to spend with Vinny, as the pair have formed an incredibly close partnership over the past seven years.

“None of you would know about Salvino without his best friend, trusted confidant, and rider Adrienne Lyle, the USEF International Equestrian of the Year. She has made this horse who he is,” said his owner Betsy Juliano, who accepted the Horse of the Year trophy.  “In my opinion, a horse can have talent to the moon but without a rider who he or she can learn from, they will never reach their full potential. Alongside Adrienne, there is the dedication of trainer Debbie McDonald and head groom Morgan Klingensmith, who have improved [Salvino] along the way.”

National Horse Of The Year: Cannon Creek

The 2022 National Horse of the Year, Cannon Creek (Cancara—Tiffany S, Caretino) has quickly made a name for himself since debuting on the hunter circuit in 2021. With Hunt Tosh, who on Thursday was named the USEF National Equestrian of the Year, Cannon Creek has become one of the most formidable horses in the high performance hunter division. In March, the pair won the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the HITS Ocala Championship (Florida). In the spring, they won high performance hunter championships at Aiken Charity Horse Show I (South Carolina), Devon (Pennsylvania) and Upperville Colt & Horse Show (Virginia).

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Sallie-Mason Wheeler accepted Cannon Creek’s National Horse of the Year from USEF President Tom O’Mara for the Wheeler Family.

A highlight of Cannon Creek’s 2022 season was winning the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship at Blue Grass Festival (Kentucky) after finishing in first place in both the classic and the handy phase. In the fall, Cannon Creek kicked off the indoors season with high performance hunter titles at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the National Horse Show (Kentucky).

“This is an incredible honor for my parents, Ceil and Kenny Wheeler, and my uncle, Douglas Wheeler,” said Sallie-Mason Wheeler, who accepted the Horse of the Year trophy. “Cannon Creek is a big, sweet, amazing horse. Hunt Tosh and everyone there has done an incredible job with him. On behalf of the Wheeler family and Hunt Tosh Incorporated, we are just extremely grateful.”

 

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