Preparing to ride down the centre line to represent your county in a tense Nations Cup in CHIO Rotterdam’s atmospheric main stadium is nerve-racking at the best of times.
But the USA’s Adrienne Lyle grand prix special test on Saturday evening started in the most stressful way possible, when her 11-year-old stallion Salvino’s noseband snapped just before she entered the arena at A.
To confused murmurs from the packed stands, Adrienne rode swiftly back to the stadium entrance where her team were able to fit a new noseband just in time for her to be able to start her test.
Adrienne, who had won the CDI3* special earlier that day on Horizon, managed to keep her cool, scoring 71.96% on Salvino and helping the USA team take third in the Nations Cup competition.
Adrienne was quick to credit her team and groom for their quick thinking and fast response.
“While nobody ever wants to have something like this happen right before you ride down centre line to represent your country, the silver lining of this situation is how it exemplified to the world just how much of a supportive team our Team USA is,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Nobody paused for even a split second before rushing in to help me in the race against the clock. And I am so lucky to have such an incredible groom, Morgan Klingensmith, who always comes to the ring with a bag of extra bridle pieces, girth, stirrup leathers, and anything else you could ever possibly need in a fix!”
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Robert Dover, the American chef d’equipe, also praised the team for their handling of the situation.
“It is easy to be charismatic and diplomatic when everything is going your way. But one truly defines oneself in the most challenging moments and this was so obvious yesterday when Adrienne and Salvino were about to enter the arena and his noseband broke,” he said. “She calmly trotted toward the ingate where her groom and teammates were ready to change to a new noseband in record time, reminiscent of a pit crew at the Indianapolis 500!”
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