2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Concludes Successful Season

The 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival concluded Saturday, March 25 at the Equestrian Village site at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington with victories for Adrienne Lyle and Juan Matute Guimon in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, and the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Yellow Bird Farm.

The 2017 AGDF had another successful season, hosting seven CDI events, two CPEDI competitions and national shows from January through March 25.

Lyle and Salvino, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion owned by Salvino Partners LLC, ended their competitive winter circuit with a 73.510 percent in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*.

Salvino was purchased for Lyle two years ago, after the retirement of her World Equestrian Games and 2012 Olympic mount Wizard.

“This idea was born to work on syndication to buy horses for high performance riders who were out of a horse to ride,” Lyle said. “Salvino came about after five long trips to Europe to look at horses. We found him as an 8-year-old, and he showed some talent, but that was by no means confirmed at the time. We stayed out of the ring last year, just spending the time that it takes to get to know a new horse. We spent the time training and strengthening, and I think that it paid off, because he seems to be going in there happy and calm, and that is our main goal.”

The pair has been competing nationally throughout the winter, and made their 2017 debut in the international ring earlier in the week.

“I think he loves the international ring,” Lyle said. “He doesn’t seem fazed by the environment at all. He’s not really an anxious horse, and he really stepped up to the plate for me today. We are still working on some things, such as putting the piaffe more in one spot, as well as more power in the extensions. Bit by bit it’s coming along, and I’m really thrilled with him today. It was a great score and a great effort, and I think there is a lot more in him still.”

Second place in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* was awarded to Shelly Francis and Danilo, a 2004 Hanoverian gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, scoring 71.353 percent.

Later in the afternoon, 19-year-old Matute and Dhannie Ymas, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., climbed to the top of the leaderboard in the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 3* with an impressive score of 75.050 percent.

“I was very pleased to not only finish first in the last ride of the season,” Matute said, “but also with the feeling overall. It was quite good, and I’m trying to find a balance with how much power I should ask for without losing the softness and relaxation. I believe that today with Dhannie, I approached that balance well, and I believe that this ride reflected that.”

Matute is happy with his winter season overall.

“I have four horses that I competed at the FEI level, and they all had very valuable seasons, and I think that we all progressed a lot,” he said. “I have to keep in mind that these are all horses I was riding in the Juniors not so long ago. For example, last night was only Quantico Ymas’ second freestyle under the lights, and two years ago, I was doing Young Riders with him. The amount of progress that we have been able to make in such a short period of time is unbelievable. It gives me goosebumps, and I’m very proud of the work we are putting in, as well as the results we are getting back out.”

Diane Creech and Robbie W, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding owned by Louise Leatherdale, earned a 74.350 percent, landing them in second place.

For more information about the AGDF, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

ABOVE: Adrienne Lyle and Salvino.