Adrienne Lyle Wins 2008 American “Brentina Cup” Championship

Sat, 06/28/2008 - 23:00
Adrienne Lyle and Wizard win the 2008 Brentina Cup
Photo © Mary Phelps
2008 U.S. Dressage Championships

U.S. West Coast rider Adrienne Lyle won the 2008 Brentina Cup finals at the 2008 American Dressage Championships in San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA on June 28, 2008.

The American Young Adult “Brentina Cup” Dressage Championship started the day off and first round winner Adrienne Lyle rode Wizard into the ring to start the division. The 23-year-old from Ketchum, ID rode another stellar effort on the 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding to take the early lead with a score of 68.683% and never looked back. Averaged with yesterday’s score from the USEF Brentina Cup Test, Lyle and Wizard finished with a two-day average of 68.265% ensuring a clear win in the Championship.

“I try not think about the pressure that much,” said Lyle after sweeping the class. “You try to go in and put in the best ride on that day. The other competitors have all been really great. Riding next to the Olympians has been really exciting.”

Owned by Peggy Thomas of River Grove Farm, Wizard has been making a prolific rise through the ranks. Peggy and Parry Thomas are also the owners of the class’s namesake, the legendary Brentina, who has been a cornerstone of the U.S. international dressage program for five years. Lyle works for the Thomas family and Debbie McDonald (Brentina’s rider) at their Idaho farm.

“Like with any owners you want to perform your best for them,” said Lyle. “But they understand that I’ve never competed at this level and the horse has never competed at this level. Its amazing and watching Debbie and Brentina – it is my dream to ride like her. I aspire to be like her some day so I hope this is a little stepping stone.”

Lyle originally went to spend the summer in her parents ski house with the hope of getting some lessons from McDonald, she ended up spending the summer as a working student. She went back to school for one more semester and then the Thomas family offered her a job.

“When they offered me a job and I jumped at the opportunity,” said Lyle. “I always wanted to be a trainer. Debbie’s so great, there is no pressure with her. She says to go out there and get it and have fun. We have a very open dialogue, we spend so much time together she’s kind of like my second mom.”

McDonald is lying second in the USEF Selection Trial for Dressage and the USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship but if she gets a ticket to Europe (and then to Hong Kong) this summer, Lyle will have to follow her success from afar.

“I’ll probably have to stay behind,” said McDonald. “We’ve got a barn full of young horses.”

Second to Lyle was Kelly Casey, a California rider, had another good test with Luzifer to finish on a score of 63.805% for today’s test ensuring she was not only second on the day but the reserve champion overall with a two-day score of 64.338%.

Luzifer, a 14-year-old Austrian Warmblood owned by Carla Hayes has tremendous presence in the arena and Casey knew it would come down to her and Lyle.

“I’m thrilled,” said Lyle. “We’ve battled it out all year. She’s got a super horse and a super rider. My horse was great. I’m really lucky.”

Twenty-three year old Casey thinks that the Brentina Cup program is a great way to not only build her resume but also hopes it will help her business.

“I hope to go on and do some large tour stuff,” said Casey. “I’m trying to build my business. I hope that this get me more noticed in my area and that more horses like Luzifer come my way.”

Casey has had Luzifer for under a year, but has developed a great relationship with the horse.

“I have personal goals,” said Casey. “His owner is really good about having me set goals. I had two clean rides. I tried not to have any expectations.”

The Brentina Cup is designed to bridge the gap for riders aged 20-25 from Young Riders to the Grand Prix level. It is difficult to qualify for the Championship but Casey feels like it needs to grow within the bounds of the riders.

“A smaller class with really competitive horses and riders is better than a bigger class with less quality,” said Casey. “Hopefully if can get the word out and get people really excited about the program we can keep it going and get it growing.”

Photos copyrighted: Mary Phelps/

Full Coverage of the 2008 Festival of Champions at

Related Links
Scores 2008 Festival of Champions
Elizabeth Austin wins 2007 Brentina Cup
Participants In the 2006 Brentina Cup Championship Announced
"Passage Cup", American Version of Piaff Forderpreis, Launched 

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