Wayne, Ill- Adrienne Lyle and Betsy Juliano's 9-year-old Oldenburg mare Horizon (Hotline-Revue, Don Schufro) clinched the win in the Developing Prix St. Georges at the Markel/USEF Young & Developing Horse National Championships. The pair held their lead from Thursday, winning the USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges test with a score of 74.020 percent to earn the overall win with a combined score of 74.272 percent.
"She had two totally clean tests this weekend, which is always your goal," Lyle said. "She was really able to give me even a little more quality today in some of the movements. I'm trying to let her be a little bit more up and open and show herself off, and she handled it really well.
"I'm just so excited about this horse," Lyle continued. "I feel really fortunate to have such a great support team - thanks to Betsy Juliano for giving me the chance to work with her, and Debbie [McDonald] for helping me. You're just always really glad when you can deliver with that team behind you. I think it's been a wonderful experience."
Her team has had an emotional weekend with the news of the passing of their longtime supporter Parry Thomas. Thomas was the owner of Debbie McDonald's Olympic mount Brentina as well as Lyle's Olympic mount Wizard.
"Today's ride was special," Lyle explained. "Parry has been incredibly influential and a huge supporter of U.S. Dressage. Just on Friday he was watching the livestream of us competing while he was in bed. He was still loving the dressage, right up until the day he went. I told Debbie I think he's watching over us and we are going to ride for him today. So I'm really glad he was there with us."
The reserve championship went to Cesar Parra and the 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding Fashion Designer OLD (Faustinus-Forst-Design, De Niro). The pair scored a 70.294 percent in the Developing Prix St. Georges test to finish with an overall score of 70.440 percent.
"I just love this horse, he had so much to give me," Parra said. "I was very excited with him and the way he improved much of the things that the judges saw the first day. I'm very happy to be second."
Parra enjoyed his trot and walk tour, but a mistake in the canter serpentine caused him to rethink his test strategy. "In those three seconds I had so many thoughts in my head, but then I thought, 'You know what? Who cares? Just ride for nines and 10s.' I rode the changes super forward. I had nothing to lose, and wanted to have fun."
Nicholia Clarke and Jennifer Mason's 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding Quincy (Quateback-Breanna, Brentano II) rounded out the top three with a Developing Prix St. Georges score of 70.539 percent and an overall total of 70.429 percent.
"I was thrilled with him today," Clarke said. "He definitely gave me his all. He's a great horse, he's got a great temperament and he tries so hard. I made some costly mistakes and that's always a tough pill to swallow when you know it's on your shoulders, but I couldn't be happier with him."
When Clarke began the season, one of her short term goals was to qualify and make the long trip from California to compete at the national championships. "I felt like it was important for these horses to get out in a bigger venue and try to showcase their abilities and talents and hopefully be able to do them justice at this level," Clark concluded. "I was very happy to make it here!"
The Markel/USEF Young and Developing Horse National Championships and Festival of Champions will conclude on Sunday with championships being awarded in the 6-year-old division and the Developing Grand Prix as well as the 13 & Under Dressage Seat Medal Finals, Young Adult 'Brentina Cup' and the National Pony Rider Championships.
For results and starting times, visit www.foxvillage.com. For more information about Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. Live streaming will be available on the USEF Network.