Wizard is a 13 years old (born 1999) Oldenburg gelding by Weltmeyer that was purchased in the Netherlands as a five-year-old by Peggy Thomas. McDonald started riding him but when Lyle came to work for her as a working student she turned over the ride to the young rider. “Debbie is tiny and Wizard is huge so she said, ‘Why don’t you try him?’ And we just clicked,” Lyle said.
The pair have been climbing the ladder of success ever since. In 2008 they won the Brentina Cup and the following year started competing at Grand Prix – a first for both of them.
Wizard may be gaining fans, but he doesn’t take easily to people or horses, Lyle said. And he clearly favors girls. Having now developed a partnership with Lyle, he is also rather possessive. “He acts quite jealous with me. If I lead another horse by him, he pins his ears and gets angry. But if someone else leads that horse, he doesn’t mind. He wants all my attention on him.”
"Wizard can be electric, but not spooky. He loves to perform and gives his everything in the show ring. He seems to know when he is on stage, and turns up the heat another notch"
Lyle says riding Wizard is much more a mental challenge than a physical one. “He’s physically capable of doing everything quite well,” she said. He is a power horse and Lyle likes that. “He has tons of energy. You feel like you have energy churning under you all the time. If you can focus it and channel it and get him working with you, then he gives you the most amazing feel of any horse I’ve ever ridden. But he’s not one who is going to give it to you. He makes you work for it and makes you figure out where to compromise and where to push him.”
Today Wizard and Adrienne are a tough duo to beat. Dreams for the 2012 Olympics are just around the corner.