Mill Spring, NC – April 26, 2021 – Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Salvino produced a score of 77.913% and claimed the FEI Grand Prix CDI 4* at Tryon International Equestrian Center and Resort (TIEC) to open Tryon Spring Dressage 1 CDI 4* competition and the 2021 Dressage season at the venue. The week also served at the first CDI 4* competition hosted at TIEC, and is the first such competition hosted in the United States outside of Wellington, Florida, in the past five years. In reserve, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Rassing’s Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (De Noir x Lorani x Loran) owned in partnership with Mary Anne McPhail, danced to a score of 73.261% to earn second place honors, while Chris von Martels (CAN) and Eclips, the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Apache x Kebora x Olympic Ferro) owned in partnership with Barbara Soederhuizen, claimed the remaining podium spot with a third-place score of 70.522%.
Lyle, who most recently combined with the 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Dynastie x Donnerhall) owned by Juliano LLC to win both the FEI Grand Prix CDI 4* and Grand Prix Special CDI 4* this month in Wellington, continued her winning streak Friday in Tryon Stadium.
“I’m happy with him overall. He was a little bit distracted going in today. I think quite a few of them were, which is one of the reasons it’s good to change our show venue,” Lyle detailed, returning to TIEC as a competitor for the first time since the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. “Everyone shows a lot at the same place, and the weather here is dramatically cooler than what we’ve used to by about 60 degrees, so I think the horses have been really fresh these last two days. Getting their brains back in the game took a little bit of work, but he still pulled off a clean test. He’s so reliable that way in that regardless of what is going on, he’ll be there and do what I ask of him.”
Speaking to her current winning streak at the CDI 4* level, Lyle emphasized that she was still looking ahead to Sunday’s Grand Prix Special while taking a minute to enjoy a win. “To win this is super, and we’re really thankful to get to be here, and it’s wonderful that [the show was upgraded to] a 4*. That’s great for us to have more opportunities like this here. Our sights are really set on the Special,” Lyle continued. “That’s the big test for us, so of course we’re happy to have a good test today, but we’re not sitting on that, not resting on that, and we’re looking forward to Sunday because that’s the one that really counts for us.”
After coaching last fall at TIEC, Lyle is grateful to be back in the irons as a competitor, noting how fortunate it is that competition is able to safely continue. “It’s great to be back. This is absolutely one of my favorite venues in the world to show at, and I always love being up here in these beautiful mountains. Like always, we’re so thankful to be able to be doing this right now when so much of the world is locked down, so we thank everyone who makes that possible.”
On Sunday, a strong Canadian presence in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4* in Tryon Stadium resulted in a win for Chris von Martels (CAN) and Eclips, earning a 79.095%. Narrowly behind with a 79.025%, Lindsay Kellock (CAN) and Sebastien, the 2006 Rheinlander gelding (Sandro Hit x Feine Dame Good Hope’s x Fidermark) Kellock owns with Enterprise Farm Equestrian LLC, claimed reserve. Julio Mendoza Loor (ECU) danced to third and a score of 73.115% with Rosali, the 2005 Danish Warmblood mare (Blue Hors Romanov x Mosegårdens Ratina x Ragazzo) owned by Aileen Daly.
Von Martels and the 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Apache x Kebora x Olympic Ferro) owned in partnership with Barbara Soederhuizen were aiming for a fun experience rather than a pressure-filled ride, which paid off after a strong weekend of competition under their belts. “He’s amazing. He’s my dream horse, and today we just went in with a fun expectation and to try to solve a few little rideability things that I’ve felt in the Grand Prix.
“I tried a few things with a different approach and that worked out for me,” von Martels recapped. “He’s great… he is always a horse that gives 200%, and I really believe in him. Today he showed everybody that he can do it.”
After placing third in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 4* on Friday, their Freestyle performance culminated in a win for Eclips, whom von Martels described as a showoff: “One of the reasons I chose to come here was because it is a real international atmosphere. Our horses do get used to competing just in the one arena at [the Global Dressage Festival], which definitely has a lot of pros, but they also need to of course see different places. My horse proved he is fine, and actually I think he enjoys a big venue like this. He’s a little bit of a showoff horse, so he likes to have some atmosphere around him.”
From here, von Martels will go back to Wellington for a few weeks and start making plans for training camp should he be selected to represent Canada in Tokyo later this summer. Though von Martels has competed at TIEC before, it’s been a while, and returning has been a positive experience, he reiterated. “It’s been a great week. Despite the weather yesterday, we have a beautiful sunny day today, and the horses are happy to be in this beautiful venue. The last time I showed here was right before the Rio Olympic Games, and I am always reminded of what a nice facility this is, and the show organizers are great. It’s good to be here.”
Lyle and Salvino replicated their Friday score almost perfectly to claim the win in Sunday’s FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 4*, earning a total score of 77.936% (after posting a score of 77.913% for their previous win). LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir, a 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding (De Noir x Lorani x Loran) owned in partnership with Mary Anne McPhail, once again claimed second place, this time on a score of 75.149%. In third, Katie Johnson (USA) and Quartett, the 2008 Brandenburger gelding (Quaterback x Donnerwunder x Dream of Glory) owned by Kylee Lourie, scored 71.553% for a personal best.
“We got almost the exact same score!” Lyle recapped of her second winning ride at the venue over two days with Salvino. “For me, that is a huge thing to be consistent, especially when you’re vying for a team spot. He was able to go out and put in another solid test with no mistakes and that’s huge for us. I feel like he tried really hard today.
“I think moving forward, this is the beginning of what will hopefully be a long summer,” Lyle predicted. “We will start to work more on fitness now so that we have just a little more stamina, by the time you get to the last day of the show like this with all the travel and everything, but I couldn’t have asked for more from him. He tries so hard, and he’s so honest.”
Building stamina for travel situations is one of the main reasons Lyle chose to compete at the Tryon Spring Dressage 1 CDI 4*, since this weekend marks “the first time we’ve shown outside of Wellington in a long time,” Lyle revealed. “It’s been a couple years, I think. It’s great to be back on the road and remember all the stuff that goes into traveling… and competing away from home, so I’m thankful we came and could have this experience.”