Lori Sawyer-Lyons Has a Blue Ribbon Finish Aboard Senna M in Ariat National Adult Medal

RELEASE: February 9, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Lori Sawyer-Lyons and Senna M (Anne Gittins Photography)
Lori Sawyer-Lyons and Senna M (Anne Gittins Photography)
Wellington, FL
- Lori Sawyer-Lyons edged out the competition to win the Ariat National Adult Medal class during week five of competition for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Sawyer-Lyons, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, rode Jimmy Torano's Senna M to first place. Sawyer-Lyons had a narrow margin of victory in a competitive class with the top three finishing only one tenth of a point apart.

Sawyer-Lyons and Senna M finished first with 77.2 points. Meredith Combs and Cassius, owned by Jennifer Combs, placed second with 77.1 points. Sally Gibbs and Castelano, owned by Linda Langmeier, scored 77 points for third place. The top four was rounded out by Julia McNerny and Norgan, Inc.'s Micenas, who finished with a score of 72.

Sawyer-Lyons is a veteran of the Ariat National Adult Medal class, but was particularly thrilled with today's win aboard Senna, a fourteen-year-old warmblood gelding. "I've done the Ariat for a while now, but this is my first time winning with Senna, which is great. He's a different ride from my horse, and I'm an amateur, so I'm having to figure it all out. I finally feel like I did today. Hopefully, I'll win some more with him!" Sawyer-Lyons stated.

"Senna is an amazing equitation horse. He's been awesome. I've had a harder time adjusting to him since he's a little different than my horse, but the horse is fabulous and it's great that it finally came together," Sawyer-Lyons continued.

Sawyer-Lyons was highly complementary of the course laid out by Steve Stephens. "The course was great. It was really fun and I thought it was beautiful. I liked how it was a little more flowing then last week. It still had a little bit of everything," Sawyer-Lyons described.

The top four riders were called back after completing their initial courses for another test to determine each rider's final score. Competitors were asked to hand gallop a single diagonal fence, followed by trotting in to and cantering out of a line headed directly for the in-gate. Riders were expected to halt before exiting the arena on a relaxed rein.

"It was nice to have a hand gallop in the test, but it was challenging to go from a hand gallop right to the trot jump. Senna is so amenable, though, that he just came back to me and did his job perfectly," Sawyer-Lyons stated.

Riders who have accumulated the most points in each of the USEF regions will be invited to compete at Ariat National Adult Medal Finals, which are held in conjunction with the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD, in early October.