‘He’s right there when you need him’: USA’s Adrienne Lyle leads World Dressage Championships grand prix special

  • Adrienne Lyle of the USA is currently holding at the top sport in the World Dressage Championships results for the grand prix special.

    Adrienne and Betsy Juliano’s 15-year-old Sandro Hit stallion Salvino improved on their grand prix performance to score 75.69% and take over from Sweden’s Therese Nilshagen and Dante Weltino at the top of the Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Championship results today.

    The pair stayed mistake free, with the highest marks coming for the stallion’s piaffe and seamless transitions in and out, as well as his fluid tempi changes.

    “He felt looser and a little more relaxed and able to show himself off today, and he didn’t put a foot out of place,” said Adrienne, as she compared the feel of today’s ride with that of yesterday, when she posted 74.39% in the grand prix to help the USA achieve sixth place and the all-important qualification for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

    “He felt very honest; I didn’t have to use much leg and it’s really fun to feel him when he has that kind of energy and drive to do it,” she added of her ride in the special. “I can just sit up there and pilot him around. We’ve been focusing so much on the grand prix, because that was the team test, and that just shows what a good character he is to be able to go in there, do the changes off the different leads, and do all these things we haven’t really been focusing on. He just is right there when you need him.”

    Adrienne has had the ride on Salvino for seven years now, and she says that he just keeps getting better, with today’s ride one of the best she has had in terms of feeling, even if the score was some way off her personal best with Salvino in the special, which is 80.83%.

    “We’ve been able to refine the self-carriage and the balance that was always the hardest thing in his younger years, because he was such a big mover that trying to solidify the balance has taken quite a long time. But that’s what I really enjoy about dressage – you can watch the step-by-step process.”

    The grand prix special has reached its halfway point, with 14 riders still to go, following the withdrawal of Germany’s Frederic Wandres and Duke Of Britain FRH, a decision made to preserve the well-being of the horse. With the best 15 combinations from today eligible to go forward to the freestyle on Wednesday night, Adrienne is the first rider who can be certain of a slot.

    Gareth Hughes, Charlotte Dujardin and Lottie Fry will all ride for Britain later today, with the top combinations from the grand prix still to come as well.

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