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As One Door Closes, Another Opens for Adrienne Lyle’s Salvino

TOKYO - Olympische Spiele / Olympic Games 2021 LYLE Adrienne (USA), Salvino Grand Prix de Dressage Tokio, Equestrian Park 25. July 2021 © Lafrentz

In a world where many show horse names can’t fit on a single line—or require their own pronunciation guide—Adrienne Lyle’s superstar partner required no such fanfare.

Like ‘Madonna,’ ‘Cher,’ and ‘Valegro’ before him, the 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion Salvino (known as “Vinny” in the barn) didn’t need a wordy moniker. When he trotted into the arena, fans the world over knew who they were watching—and the dressage masterclass they were likely about to witness.

This week, Lyle and Salvino’s owner, Betsy Juliano, announced that the stallion would be retired from the sport, thereby removing him from contention for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“Salvino is still quite fit and energetic, but Adrienne and I feel the rigors of the qualifying process, in addition to the leadup to the Olympics, would not be in his best long-term interests,” Juliano said.

“He will soon transition to a life of retirement while still being ridden at home. We are also very proud to be able to offer Salvino for breeding.” 

Betsy Juliano and Adrienne Lyle with Salvino. Courtesy of Betsy Juliano

Paris would have been the second Olympic appearance for Salvino and Lyle, who were also members of the silver medal-winning U.S. team at the Tokyo Olympic Games. In 2018, they helped Team USA to a silver-medal finish at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, and were also members of the 2022 U.S. World Championship team, finishing sixth overall.

In 2022, Salvino was named United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) International Horse of the Year (Lyle was also named USEF International Rider of the Year) after an undefeated 2021 season stateside. During the winter circuit in March of 2022, their iconic Bruce Springsteen freestyle performance set a new record with a score of 85.58%—the highest ever recorded at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5*.

No surprise, then, with a record like that that Lyle says there has always been interest in using Salvino (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall) as a breeding stallion in America. Now, aspiring dressage broodmare owners everywhere will finally have their chance.

“We feel it’s time to explore this as the next phase of his career. Salvino has far surpassed any expectations we ever had for him,” Lyle said, noting that the stallion will stand for breeding in Wellington, Florida and Colorado.

“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but more than anything, we feel it is the right decision for him,” Lyle added. “He continues to be ridden at home; he loves to work and show the other horses how it should be done.

“[Salvino] has given us so much, and Betsy and I are committed to making sure he keeps on living his best life.”

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