On an historic day for Irish Dressage, Ireland’s Rio Olympic Dressage combination of Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K, won their first ever five-star Grand Prix when winning the Freestyle to Music at Dortmund, Germany.
They were one of six combinations who came through Friday’s Grand Prix qualifier where they finished in fourth place from 14 starting combinations. Against a top class field in the world’s traditional Dressage stronghold of Germany in the final on Saturday night, the Irish pair blitzed the opposition with a score of 76.70%, leaving them over three percentage points clear of Germany’s Hendrik Lochthowe riding Meggle’s Boston (73.575%, with another German rider, Beatrice Buchwald, taking third the position on the podium with Daily Pleasure (72.250%).
Reynolds and Vancouver K were previously victorious at four-star Grand Prix in Austria and America but the Dortmund result is a first for the pair at five-star level.
The Kildare woman spoke of her joy following her first victory at the top level:
“I’m very, very happy. He (Vancouver K) was great this evening. We have been working on this test for a relatively short time and now it’s starting to come together. I’m never happy when I come out [after the test], I always feel there is something I could have done better but that’s what makes me improve. There were no mistakes as such just a couple of things that we could do even better. This is probably only the fourth time we have ridden this particular test in competition and we are starting to build more confidence in the test now.”
Reynold is now hopeful that she and Vancouver K will travel to the World Cup finals in Omaha, USA:
“I don’t want to tempt fate before it’s 100% confirmed but it looks like we will make it to the finals. We will possibly take in one more qualifier next week and then have a few weeks break before the final all going well.”