Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce that Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 2007 Hanoverian stallion, was voted the 2022 International Horse of the Year and Cannon Creek, the Wheeler family’s 2011 Holsteiner gelding, was voted the 2022 National Horse of the Year by the USEF membership. Salvino and Cannon Creek were honored during the SmartPak/USEF Horse of the Year Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 14.
International Horse of the Year
(Sandro Hit x Dynastie, Donnerhall)
2007 Hanoverian stallion
Owner: Betsy Juliano LLC
Currently ranked 11th in the FEI Dressage World rankings with Olympian Adrienne Lyle, Salvino closed 2022 as one half of the top-ranked U.S. dressage combinations in the world. And for good reason.
Success for Salvino, also known as “Vinny,” started at the 2022 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival in February and March. At AGDF 7, he and Lyle placed first in the CDI5* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special. Then, at AGDF 11, another first-place finish, this time in the CDI4* Grand Prix.
Salvino added to a long list of career accomplishments during August’s FEI Dressage World Championship in Herning, Denmark, where he and Lyle were the only U.S. combination to compete in the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Freestyle. In the Freestyle, Salvino posted the second-highest score of his career with an 83.704% that put him and Lyle sixth in the extremely competitive Blue Hors FEI World Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle Championship.
A 2007 Hanoverian stallion owned by Besty Juliano LLC, Salvino notoriously loves showing off for a crowd, and Lyle felt the excitement and energy in Denmark. The pair have successfully completed three major championships together. Lyle says that she’s grateful and cherishes everyday she gets to spend with Vinny as the pair has formed an incredibly close partnership over the past seven years.
“None of you would know about Salvino without his best friend, trusted confidant, and rider Adrienne Lyle, the USEF International Equestrian of the Year. She has made this horse who he is. In my opinion, a horse can have talent to the moon but without a rider who he or she can learn from, they will never reach their full potential,” said owner Betsy Juliano. “Alongside Adrienne, there is the dedication of trainer Debbie McDonald and head groom Morgan Klingensmith, who have improved [Salvino] along the way.”
Juliano was the recipient of the Horse of the Year trophy and a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine, plus an invitation to be a part of the exclusive wine club list, from Horsepower Vineyards
National Horse of the Year
(Cancara x Tiffany S, Caretino)
2011 Holsteiner gelding
Owner: The Wheeler Family
Since debuting on the hunter circuit in 2021, Cannon Creek has worked his way into the spotlight and throughout the 2022 season, became one of the most formidable horses in the high performance hunter division. In March, Cannon Creek and trainer Hunt Tosh won the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Ocala Championship. In the spring, they won the High Performance Hunter Championship at Aiken Charity Horse Show I, the Devon Horse Show, and Upperville Colt & Horse Show.
A highlight of Cannon Creek’s 2022 season was winning the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship at Blue Grass Festival after finishing in first place in both the classic and the handy phase. In the fall, Cannon Creek kicked off the indoors season with High Performance Hunter titles at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pa., and the National Horse Show in Lexington, Ky.
“This is an incredible honor for my parents, Ceil and Kenny Wheeler, and my uncle, Douglas Wheeler,” said Sallie-Mason Wheeler. “Cannon Creek is a big, sweet, amazing horse. Hunt Tosh and everyone there has done an incredible job with him. On behalf of the Wheeler family and Hunt Tosh Incorporated, we are just extremely grateful.”
Sallie-Mason Wheeler was the recipient of the Horse of the Year trophy, and the Wheeler family received a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine, plus an invitation to be a part of the exclusive wine club list, from Horsepower Vineyards.
Watch the 2022 SmartPak/USEF Horse of the Year Awards Dinner on the USEF Network.