Ireland's star continues to rise in dressage world
Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K posted their third Irish record score of the week when finishing fifth in Saturday's dressage Freestyle at the FEI European Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Having been pivotal in helping to clinch an Olympic team qualifying spot in Tuesday's Grand Prix in which she scored 76.51, she put in another stunning performance with her 17-year-old wonder-horse to slot into fifth in Thursday's Grand Prix Special, out-stripping Anna Merveldt's 26-year-long Irish record when scoring 78.252. And on Saturday, in front of a full stadium, she did it again in the Freestyle, lining up fifth again on a huge mark of 85.589. The "Judy factor" has been influential in expanding the 250-strong membership of Dressage Ireland, to around 700, in the last couple of years. Compared to the 20,000 competing at all levels in Germany, Ireland is a minnow so the creation of a team for the very first time just two months ago, and their achievement over the last seven days has sent a ripple of excitement through the sport.