Adrienne Lyle Wins Grand Prix Special in Debut Appearance at 2012 WDM Palm Beach

Sun, 01/29/2012 - 12:05
Adrienne Lyle and Wizard win the Grand Prix Special at the 2012 WDM Palm Beach
Photo © Sue Stickle
2012 World Dressage Masters

At the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Adrienne Lyle of the United States bested the international field to win the Grand Prix Special at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on Saturday afternoon 28 January 2012. The 26 year old Idaho-based rider scored 73.244% riding Wizard, a 13 year old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas.

"My horse handled everything beautifully. I'm really excited and happy," said Lyle, who placed fourth in Friday's Grand Prix, and was eligible to compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle, though she opted to ride in the Grand Prix Special instead. "As much as I would have liked to ride in the freestyle, I need a Grand Prix Special qualifying score for the Olympic Selection Trials," she explained.

Also choosing to compete in the Grand Prix Special with impressive results was Heather Blitz of the United States, who placed second with her nine year old Danish Warmblood gelding Paragon.

Fewer than three months ago, Blitz and Paragon had won team gold and individual silver at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, which are at Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I level, not Grand Prix.

"Who would have thought that just a few months ago I was in the small tour?" she said. "Now I am not only in the Grand Prix, but scoring over 70 in the Masters." Blitz and Paragon received 72.044% for their Grand Prix Special test, which was their first in a CDI.

Third place went to fellow American Todd Flettrich and Cherry Knoll Farm's Otto, who received a score of 69.933%. The five member FEI Ground Jury consisted of Jayne Ayers (USA), Stephen Clarke (GBR), Wim Ernes (NED), Liselotte Fore (USA), and Isabelle Judet (FRA).

The audience for the Grand Prix Special was similarly impressive to the previous day's Grand Prix, which may have set records for attendance in North American Dressage.

"We had probably 1,500 people today," said WDM co-founder and CEO Anthony Kies. "I think the turn-out is fantastic, and tonight we will see a sold out house."

The grand finale of 2012 WDM Palm Beach is the Grand Prix Freestyle on Saturday evening, where eight of the world's top ranked horses and riders will compete for a share of the €70,000 Euros in prize money for that class. A total of €100,000 ($130,000) at each WDM competition makes the WDM the richest dressage series in the world.

Photos © Sue Stickle

Related Links
Scores 2012 CDI West Palm Beach
Peters Wins 2012 WDM Palm Beach Grand Prix with Personal Best Score

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