The powerful 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding Wizard, ridden by Ketchum’s Adrienne Lyle, is back in the thick of dressage competition after missing most of the 2013 season with an acute bruise to the coffin bone—one of three bones inside a horse’s foot.
Whitbey Island (Wash.) native Lyle, 28, who has ridden the gelding owned by River Grove Farm’s Peggy Thomas since 2006, shared the 2008 Brentina Cup championship with Wizard and then competed with Wizard in the 2012 Winter Olympic dressage meet near London, England.
Lyle and Wizard relocated for the 2014 winter circuit to Wellington, Fla. along with her coach, Debbie McDonald and her husband, Bob, both longtime Hailey residents.
Since their return to competition during the 12-week winter circuit, Lyle and Wizard have made an impact with six first-place finishes and three times in second place. It’s been a triumphant and record-setting return to the ring.
On Friday, March 28 at Wellington, Lyle and Wizard won the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5 Grand Prix Special with a score of 75.588 per cent. It was the highest score of any U.S. combination this year and was also the highest for a non-freestyle event by the Olympic partnership.
They posted that score just one day after recording a personal-best 74.160 percent to capture the Grand Prix at the $132,000 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5 last Thursday at Wellington. The back-to-back scores were personal records for Lyle and Wizard.
Highly ranked among Americans, Lyle and Wizard will try to peak for June’s U.S. selection trials in New Jersey that will choose the American representatives for the 2014 World Equestrian Games scheduled for Normandy, France at the end of August.
Being stationed at Wellington for the winter circuit has enabled Wizard to become more workmanlike and the confidence of horse and rider has grown, Lyle has said.