Wellington, FL - Adrienne Lyle and Wizard returned to the stadium spotlight and danced away with the win in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle during the Global Dressage Festival (GDF) at the $120,000 5* West Palm Beach, presented by Diamante Farms on Friday evening. Their score of 77.275% placed them well above the competition and earned prize money totaling $25,200. Ashley Holzer of Canada on Breaking Dawn was second with 74.000% and collectd $15,360. Anja Plonzke of Germany on Le Mont d'Or, received 73.600% and $12,000 for third. Lyle, 27, an assistant trainer for Debbie McDonald at Peggy and Parry Thomas' River Grove Farm, has the daily riding and training of Wizard (Weltmeyer-Pica, Classiker) and is very pleased with the way her charge is progressing. "This was a personal best for us," said Lyle. "We have scored a 74%, we will take a 77%. In the last two weeks since I've been back riding him he has felt like a different kind of horse.
He's got the range of motion and power but is expressive and relaxed and feels fresh in the ring. I think with just a little bit more experience, getting him more relaxed in there, we will be brilliant. He sure doesn't feel at all limited. It feels like we can do each movement for a 10."
Holzer was also pleased with Breaking Dawn's performance. "The horse is just phenomenal. I have ridden enough horses to know I have a good one. The more I pushed the more he gave. I am really thrilled," said Holzer. "I've been careful, knowing how long the season is at this level of competition, not to push him. I go in each time and am happy with what he can give. With someone like Adrienne getting a 77%, I want to push, but know I can't. I'm careful to let his strength build for August with confidence. He has been eager all season. I cannot ask for more. He's blown away my expectations."
Spectators were also treated to a spectacular Freestyle Opening Ceremony with a laser light show, a DJ, and silk dancers.