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Farewell to Wizard

Olympic and World Equestrian Games dressage veteran made his final bow Friday at Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center in front of the Thomas family and 7,485 fans


I think it’s really great that we got to honor Wizard for Parry and Peggy Thomas in this arena that has been so special for so many different reasons over the years. Just to have Parry get the chance to see another of his amazing horses retire in his arena was pretty fantastic. For everything he’s done, he deserves every bit of recognition he gets.

Credit: (photo copyright 2015 by Nancy Jaffer) Adrienne Lyle rides Wizard into an arena for the last time as he says farewell to his fans at Thomas & Mack.

Having a ceremony like this in front of these spectators is amazing. It’s always such an awesome crowd to ride into. They’re so enthusiastic and so supportive, it’s really an environment that’s not like anything else. Coming down that tunnel and hearing the cheers is very exciting.

On Sunday, Wizard will go home to Idaho with us. He’ll get a chance to live in a field, or if he prefers, live in a stall and trail ride. He’ll be able to dictate what he wants to do for his retirement. I’ll be with him all summer. He’s used to all the attention, he’s still special.

Wizard has done so much more than I ever thought he was going to do. We did our first Grand Prix together and the Young Rider Grand Prix, he kept surprising me. I’m glad we could end on a high note. We made each other’s career, we learned the ropes together. It was a wonderful opportunity.

I want to thank the wonderful support group of people who were involved in Wizard’s career. They are obviously the Thomases and Debbie and Bob McDonald; Dr. Rick Mitchell and his wife, Julie; Kirste Tim, our vet on the West Coast, groom Ruben Palomera and working student Taylor Yamamoto and Button Baker.

Now it’s time to move on. We have a great group of 7-year-olds coming along and they’re starting to hit some of the Grand Prix stuff. I don’t have another Grand Prix horse yet, but something exciting may be on the horizon. Can’t wait to tell you all about it.

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