On an historic day for Irish Dressage (Saturday 4th March 2017), Ireland’s Rio Olympic Dressage combination Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K, have tonight scored their first ever five-star Grand Prix victory, coming out on top in the Freestyle to Music at Dortmund in Germany.
They were one of six combinations who came through Friday’s Grand Prix qualifier where they finished in fourth place of the 14 starters. Up against a top class field in the world’s traditional Dressage stronghold of Germany in the final on Saturday night, the Irish pair devastated the opposition with a score of 76.70%, leaving them a over three percentage points ahead of the next best finisher. Germany’s Hendrik Lochthowe riding Meggle’s Boston (73.575%) finished as runners-up, while another German rider, Beatrice Buchwald, took third spot on the podium with Daily Pleasure (72.250%).
Reynolds and Vancouver K had previously scored four-star Grand Prix wins in Austria and in the USA but the Dortmund result is a first for the pair at five-star level.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Judy Reynolds said:
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 its 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.”
When asked about plans for the immediate future and the looming World Cup finals in Omaha, USA, Reynolds said,
“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.”