Irish team rider Abigail Lyle has been named The Irish Field Dressage Rider of the Year for 2022.
Lyle was also presented with this Dressage Rider of the Year for 2022 award at the 50th anniversary of The Irish Horse World Awards lunch, which was held in the Palmer North Golf Club, The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland on 7 March 2023.
A County Down native, Lyle was the sole Irish rider to qualify two horses, Giraldo (by Rousseau x Flemmingh) and Farrell (by Fabregas x Davignon), for the 2022 World Dressage Championships in Herning, Denmark where she made her senior Team Ireland debut with Giraldo. She finished 76th with 65.714% in the Grand Prix
Earlier in the year she successfully competed both horses at CDI's in Keysoe, Compiegne, Wellington Heckfield, and Hartpury. She concluded 2022 with her World Cup qualifier debut in London, where she was 10th in the freestyle (75.250%) on Giraldo.
Irish Field Dressage Rider of the Year
Having moved from Northamptonshire to a new yard in Wiltshire to be closer to her trainer Carl Hester, Abi has established herself as on of an elite Irish equestrian club.
"Along with Olympians Anna Merveldt and Judy Reynolds, Abi became only the third Irish dressage rider ever to score 75% or above in a international CDI Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) class," Irish equestrian journalist Paul Nolan wrote.
Lyle stated, "to look at the amazing names of previous winners on the trophy is really something so special. Thank you to everyone who has helped me on this wonderful journey and who made last year so fabulous
Press in the Picture
Special recognition award medals were presented, on the day, to four of the five former editors of The Irish Horse World, Grania Willis (1980-2003), Siobhan English (2003-2010), Sascha Geraghty (2010-2015) and Caitriona Murphy (2015-2016) along with the current editor Isabel Hurley (2016 to date).
"The first editor of The Irish Horse World Averil Douglas Opperman (1972-1980) was unable to attend to receive her medal in person. In a message to the attendees at the awards lunch, read on her behalf by the editor of The Irish Field Leo Powell, she recalled how the then editor Val Lamb invited her to set up The Irish Horse World section of The Irish Field and this proved to be the genesis of the annual The Irish Horse World equestrian sports awards ceremony fifty years ago," Nolan wrote.
Previous winners of The Irish Field Dressage Rider of the Year Award (first awarded in 1997) are as follows:-
1997 - Yvette Truesdale
1998 - Heike Holstein (1)
1999 - Katy Price
2000 - Anna Merveldt (1)
2001 - Anna Merveldt (2)
2002 - Anna Merveldt (3)
2003 - Heike Holstein (2)
2004 - Anna Merveldt (4)
2005 - Heike Holstein (3)
2006 - Anna Merveldt (5)
2007 - Heike Holstein (4)
2008 - Judy Reynolds (1)
2009 - Anna Merveldt (6)
2010 - Anna Medveldt (7)
2011 - Anna Merveldt (8)
2012 - Helen Kearney
2013 - Roland Tong
2014 - Judy Reynolds (2)
2015 - Judy Reynolds (3)
2016 - Judy Reynolds (4)
2017 - Judy Reynolds (5)
2018 - Judy Reynolds (6)
2019 - Judy Reynolds (7)
2020 - Kate Dwyer
2021 - Heike Holstein (5)
2022 - Abi Lyle
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