Indian Life Newspaper -

Adrienne Lyle (b. 1985), Olympian

USA Dressage Rider, Horse Trainer, Equestrian Athlete


Last updated 2/1/2019 at 1:12pm

K.B. Schaller

Cherokee Nation citizen Adrienne Lyle was born in Coupeville, Washington. She was reared on Whidbey Island, Washington on a small cattle ranch.

In 2005 Lyle worked part-time with highly successful dressage rider Debbie McDonald at Peggy and Parry Thomas' River Grove Farm (Idaho). In 2006, Lyle advanced to fulltime assistant trainer. That was when she "met" Wizard, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Weltmeyer purchased in the Netherlands as a five-year-old.

At the River Grove Farm Lyle acquired the polish and expertise to compete in dressage. This sport involves a rider's guiding a horse through a series of complicated maneuvers by using slight movements of the hands, feet, and weight.

In 2008, Lyle and Wizard won the Brentina Cup. In 2009 the pair competed in their first Grand Prix and have been advancing in the sport ever since. Their expertise eventually won them a spot on the US Olympic team.

Lyle and Wizard placed an impressive Fourth Place in the U.S. Equestrian Federation Dressage Festival of Champions. She advanced to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Olympic Selection Trial. In March 2012, Adrienne and Wizard took top honors at the Global Dressage Festival (GDF) in the FEI Grand Prix $120,000 with a score of 73.021%. It placed her well-above other competitors. Then the horse and rider represented the United States by competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

In 2014, Lyle and Wizard competed at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France placing 4th in team at the individual dressage competition.

Lyle fondly described Wizard as "a partner," who wants "all my attention. He loves to perform and gives everything in the show ring." Because of his showmanship, Wizard attracted quite a following.

In the winter of 2014 however, Lyle noted that her 16-year-old Olympic and World Equestrian Games partner had suffered an injury. Given his age, Adrienne and the McDonald family decided to let Wizard enjoy a well-earned retirement.

More recently, Adrienne has competed in the inaugural Champion of the Dressage Derby at the Royal Horse Show (Toronto, Ontario). The competition required riders to perform on a horse they had never ridden before, after only five minutes of preparation. Adrienne Lyle was declared champion with her score of 69.559%.

KB Schaller (Cherokee/Seminole heritage)is a journalist, researcher, novelist and illustrator. A version of this article appears in her biographical collection 100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World, winner of an International Book Award, Women's Issues Category. Other KB Schaller books are available through and other booksellers. Email:


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