To say last week belonged to Adrienne Lyle and Salvino is an understatement.
Between Lyle being named the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s International Equestrian of the Year on Thursday and Salvino being named the International Horse of the Year on Saturday, the pair put their skills to the test during the first week of the 2023 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Florida), winning both the qualifying Grand Prix (77.50%) on Thursday and the FEI World Cup Grand Prix freestyle during the first, unusually chilly, Friday Night Stars of the AGDF season, which runs through March 31.
The Tokyo silver medal team of Lyle and Betsy Juliano LLC’s 16-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit—Dynastie, Donnerhall) scooped the blue ribbon Jan. 13 with 83.54% for a harmonious freestyle test brimming with expression and power. Second place went to Sarah Tubman and First Apple with a personal best of 78.25%, while third place was Sweden’s Caroline Darcourt and Lord Django, who earned a 78.17% in first Grand Prix freestyle performance.
“I’m super thrilled to be here again at this amazing venue, and I was happy to see how packed it was despite this cold weather,” Lyle said Friday. “Salvino felt great. He was fiery and very excited to be here.
“We did most of the things on my terms, and some of the things on his terms,” she added, “but like any good relationship it’s all about compromise, and he feels great.”
Lyle is chasing one of three starting places allocated to North America for the FEI World Cup Final, to be held in April in Omaha, Nebraska. She and Salvino won another FEI World Cup qualifier Dec. 10 in Wellington, Florida, with a score of 85.01%, giving them a good start on qualifying for Omaha.
“We were fortunate to have the World Cup qualifier in December under our belt, so this was the second of three that we have to try and do,” said Lyle, 38. “He doesn’t do a whole lot in between shows; he knows his job now, so we just keep him happy and healthy and fit.”
Watch their winning Jan. 13 FEI World Cup Grand Prix freestyle, courtesy of Wellington International: