Friday, May. 24, 2024

Video: Lyle Sweeps TerraNova CDI4* With New Partner Helix

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In just their second international competition together, Adrienne Lyle and Helix swept the CDI4* at TerraNova Equestrian Center in Myakka City, Florida, over the weekend.

On Friday, the pair topped the leaderboard with a 72.02% in the Grand Prix (see complete scores here) during TerraNova Dressage I. They followed it Saturday by improving their score to 73.97% to win again in the Galati Yacht Sales CDI4* Grand Prix Special.

The competition was just the second for the pair, who made their CDI debut during Week 12 of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Florida). Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s Heidi Humphries purchased the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Apache—Zeester T, Jazz), who previously was campaigned by Sweden’s Marina Mattsson, earlier in the year as an Olympic prospect for Lyle. A new combination, Lyle and Helix are still getting to know one another, but they have a promising future ahead with a possible trip to Paris in the cards. Together, they already are sitting in sixth on the ranking list for Team USA.

Adrienne Lyle and Zen Elite Equestrian Center’s Helix won both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special at TerraNova Equestrian Center (Fla). SusanJ.Stickle.com Photo

“I was really happy with Helix [Friday] in the Grand Prix,” Lyle said after the test. “We are a very new partnership, so we had a few little missed transitions and communication errors—only because he’s a horse that tries so hard, and maybe a little too hard in the moment—but it’s our highest score so far in the Grand Prix.”

Watch their Grand Prix test here, courtesy of Horse&Country.tv:

Without a day between to make adjustments between the two tests, Lyle reflected upon Friday’s ride to prepare for Saturday’s test. 

“Having the two days back-to-back, there wasn’t a lot of time to do anything in between, so this morning, he just went out for an easy stretch in the arena,” Lyle said. “We practiced a few of the transitions from the Special since we haven’t had a chance to run through this yet. We just relied on the fact that we can trust him, and he’s a good boy.”

That plan worked, and they yet again improved their score.

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“I am thrilled with Helix today in the Grand Prix Special. That was our first special together, and he is just super fun to ride in that test,” Lyle said Saturday. “He has really powerful extensions and a great ability to come back and collect. He was very focused and tried really hard today.”

Watch their Grand Prix Special test here, courtesy of Horse&Country.tv:

Lyle’s longtime coach, Debbie McDonald, stood by the arena and seemingly rode every stride with Lyle throughout the test. 

“[Helix] is super elastic,” McDonald said. “The range of motion he has, the ability to do the piaffe and passage in such a way that there’s never a mistake in the rhythm at all from one to the other. The extensions are big and powerful. I don’t think the horse has a hole. He’s 100% good in everything, it’s just a very new partnership. For what she’s done already in just two months blows my mind.”

With Lyle eyeing a potential third appearance at the Olympic Games, McDonald was emotional to see her student continue to succeed.

“I cry a lot. At this point, she’s like a child to me,” McDonald said with a laugh. “I know I can’t be her mother, but I take so much pleasure in watching her in every single aspect of her career, being a professional. It’s amazing to me what she’s been able to accomplish.”

See complete scores from the special here.

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