Friday, June 8, 2012

Lyle, Wizard ride for Olympic berths

Dressage in Garden State next week


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

Adrienne Lyle

Ranked No. 2 in the nation, Ketchum resident Adrienne Lyle, 27, of Hailey's River Grove Farm is in New Jersey for the biggest competition so far in her dressage career.

Lyle and horse Wizard are competing in the U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Festival of Champions and USEF Dressage Selection Trial for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The top-ranked 15 horse-and-rider combinations have been invited to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team. The 2012 Olympic Dressage competition is set for Aug. 2-9 at Greenwich Park in London, England. Lyle and Wizard are aiming for their first Olympic competition.

U.S. Selection Trials are June 8-10 and 13-17 at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, N.J. Wizard, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, is owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas of Hailey. Lyle has been riding Wizard for six years.

Jane Thomas, daughter of Peggy and Parry Thomas, will attend the selection trials. Lyle's mentor and trainer, two-time Olympian Debbie McDonald of Hailey, is coaching Lyle every day to help prepare her for the big competition.

It's been a good spring for Lyle/Wizard before the trials.

Lyle said, "We decided to take Wizard to Florida this spring for the show season, because the biggest competitions are held in Florida. In January we were invited to compete in the World Dressage Masters alongside some of the best horses and riders in the world. We finished fourth in the Grand Prix and won the Grand Prix Special.

"At the end of the season we were invited to ride in the CDI 5 in West Palm Beach (the only 5-star ranked competition held in the U.S.), where we won the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle, with new personal best high scores."

Lyle is the daughter of Greg and Anne Lyle of Ketchum. She grew up on Whidby Island near Seattle, Wash. Next week's dressage competition will be shown live on the Internet at www.usefnetwork.com.




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