Aiken, SC - In one of the best performances yet of their career, Adrienne Lyle and Wizard, Peggy Thomas's 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Weltmeyer, scored a 70.353% in the FEI Grand Prix Special 4* on Saturday night, February 8, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, earning the top finish and Custom Saddlery Most Valuable Rider Award.
"I was incredibly happy with him," Lyle said of the 17.1 hand German son of Weltmeyer, out of a Classiker mare. "I thought, that was one of our best. He just felt solid. He felt there for me."
Lyle is aiming for two World Cup qualifiers coming up on the AGDF tour, and setting her sights on Gladstone in hopes of qualifying for the U.S. dressage squad for this summer's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. But after a year off from injury, Wizard's fitness and health are top priority.
"I think I am on a good path with him," she said. "I want to keep it going, keeping him happy, trying to improve the little parts we need but not overdoing it."I was really happy with today's win in a 4* - that was huge! I am happy not just that he won, but that he was honest in the places that I needed him to be honest. That for me was the most important thing."
Honesty and trust are two of riding's most valuable components, which is why Cary Wallace and Custom Saddlery selected Lyle as their Most Valuable Rider for Week Five of the largest international and national dressage circuit in the world.
“It's a huge honor,” said the MVR Award winner, who got an embroidered Custom Saddlery saddle pad and, at the conclusion of the CDI circuit, will join a list of 2014 Custom Saddlery MVR’s automatically entered to win the MVR Grand Prize: a new saddle from the company respected for a quarter of a century as one of the most innovative saddle makers in the dressage world.
This is the second year that the MVR Award, created by Cary Wallace, Master Saddlefitter for Aiken, SC-based Custom Saddlery, has been presented at AGDF to recognize those riders who go the extra mile or add something special to a show through exceptional performance, horsemanship or teamwork.
“Seeing Wizard return to the circuit, and to see them perform – and win - together with such joy and harmony, is the best reward for everyone,” said Wallace.
Custom Saddlery is a proud sponsor of Most Valuable Riders throughout the dressage community. For more information on Custom Saddlery visit their website at http://mysaddle.com/en.