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Meet Adrienne Lyle: the USA’s top ranked dressage rider

Adrienne Lyle is currently the highest ranked USA rider on the FEI dressage rankings, and indeed the highest ranked rider from outside Europe, currently sitting 20th with Salvino. Following her victory at the first CDI3* of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida, we find out a little more about her…

Adrienne Lyle, 36, represented the USA at the London Olympics in 2012 and the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2014, both riding the Weltmeyer son Wizard. After a two year break from the top of the sport following Wizard’s retirement in 2015, she then went on to ride the 2018 WEG in Tryon and at the 2019 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Salvino.

Her current top horse is the 14-year-old Sandro Hit stallion Salvino, with whom she finished seventh at the World Cup Final in 2019, having helped the USA win team silver at WEG the year before. Also competing at international grand prix level is the 13-year-old Rousseau gelding Harmony’s Duval, with whom she got 2021 off to a good start with wins in the grand prix and grand prix special at the opening CDI3* of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.

Adrienne Lyle was born and raised on Whidbey Island, Washington, on a small cattle farm. Horses were always a part of her life growing up, and as a child she would spend her days trail-riding with friends. Her first proper riding lessons did not take place until she was nine and joined the US Pony Club with a $200 pony named Salsa.

She trains with Debbie McDonald, whom she has worked with since joining her yard as a working pupil in 2005. Adrienne and Debbie now run a training business together, River Grove Equestrian. Debbie also coached Adrienne’s championship teammates Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass before she became technical advisor to the USA team.

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Adrienne is only the third American rider ever to score over 80% in the grand prix special – the test that will determine the team medals at the Tokyo Olympics. She achieved this on Salvino in February 2020 shortly before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Other American riders to have recorded plus-80% scores in the special are Steffen Peters and Laura Graves.

Adrienne is a member of the USEF Elite dressage squad for 2021, with both Salvino and Harmony’s Duval. Also on the Elite squad this year are Katherine Bateson-Chandler, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery.

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