January 22, 2015–United States dressage competitor Adrienne Lyle has announced the retirement of Wizard, her Olympic and World Equestrian Games partner. The 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Weltmeyer-Pica, Classiker) is owned by Peggy Thomas.
Highlights of Lyle and Wizard’s long partnership include representing the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games as well as at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, where they contributed to a fourth place team finish. They were the 2008 Brentina Cup champions.
Lyle said: “Wizard enjoys being turned out and goes in turnout daily. One day this winter after coming in to be ridden, he just didn’t feel right. After having our vet here in Florida evaluate him, it looks to be a strain in a suspensory.
“Everyone involved in Wizard’s life wants his health and happiness to be our number one priority. The Thomas family, Debbie McDonald and I made a decision that we would not push Wizard’s rehab to be ready to try for the World Cup Final this year. Given Wizard’s age, we have made the decision to get him happy and comfortable and give him the retirement he deserves.
“My partnership with Wizard began in 2007, when I came to Debbie McDonald as a working student and was given the ride on Wizard shortly thereafter. As everybody knows, it takes an amazing team to get a horse and rider to the top level of our sport, and I have had the most incredible team you could think of!
“For the past eight years, I have had the amazing support of the Thomas family, who allowed me to ride Wizard and compete him around the country and around the world. I have had Debbie McDonald’s incredible coaching every step of the way as well as Bob McDonald running the farm and handling the logistics of Wizard’s jet-setting life. Wizard took me around the world to places I never thought I’d get to be.
“I am eternally grateful to all of those involved in Wizard’s career for allowing me to have this amazing journey with him. He will return with me to the Thomases’ River Grove Farm in Idaho and join Brentina in her retirement there.”