The Florida circuit was a huge success for Olympian Adrienne Lyle, who moved up from 96th to 30th in the world rankings. Not only did she ride Peggy and Parry Thomas' Wizard to lead the USA 1 Team to victory in the Stillpoint Farm Dressage Nations' Cup at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, she went on to win two dressage freestyles under the lights before the circuit wrapped up at the end of March. The Idaho resident has made the most of her time in Florida while working with her mentor, Debbie McDonald, and doing her own teaching and training as well.
Even though we had a great Florida circuit, things don't always go as planned. We originally declared for the World Cup Finals but decided against trying for it after Wizard got cast in his stall and needed a few days off. Wizard's health and happiness is more important than anything else, and happily, he bounced back perfectly to win the Grand Prix and Special at the 5-star show that ended the AGDF.
For our next competition, we'll head to New Jersey, where the U.S. Equestrian Federation's Festival of Champions is being held at the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation's Gladstone headquarters.
The Festival will be the national championships and the selection trials for a group of eight riders who will get to compete in Europe this summer. The team for August's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be chosen from this group, and of course, that is our major goal.
Aside from working with Wizard in Florida, I was busy training younger horses. I had a group of three 6-year-olds, and one 4-year-old.
That's Dillinger, a son of Peggy Thomas' great mare, Brentina, who was shown so successfully by Debbie. He's by Damsey, and is turning out to be very exciting.
He's amazing. He's had very minimal rides under saddle, but he just has something that is so fun and as a rider you just love. He wants to do it, he's eager to do it, he's sensitive.
He has an incredible work ethic like his mom did. He may not look like Brentina (she is chestnut, he is black), but he reminds me of her, the way he goes. There's parts of him that both Debbie and I will go when I'm riding him, "Gosh, that's totally Mama right there."
My big project on which I'm about to focus involves driving six horses back home to Idaho in May. That should be quite an experience. I'll tell you all about it and pass along some equine travel tips in my next blog post.