Whidbey Island native Adrienne Lyle is riding her way to her second Olympic games.
Lyle participates in dressage, an equestrian sport derived from old military horse training.
The sport’s objective, she said, is “teaching the horse to listen to the rider’s smallest signals so that the rider can control the horse with seemingly invisible cues and in perfect harmony.”
She and her horse Salvino gave outstanding performances in their Olympic qualifying events. The pair won first place in both competitions and set two new American records.
At the Olympic trial in Wellington, Fla., held June 9, Lyle and Salvino earned a Grand Prix score of 82.413 percent to beat the previous American record of 81.537 percent.
Two days later at the Grand Prix Special trial, they earned a score of 81.830 percent, just surpassing the previous American record of 81.824 percent for that event.
Lyle has been a horse lover her whole life. The athlete was born in Coupeville and grew up in Maxwelton in South Whidbey, where she began riding horses on her family’s farm.
“We always had horses in the fields that we would trail ride on,” she recalled in an email to the Whidbey News-Times. “From the earliest time I can remember, I wanted to be on horseback.”