Reynolds hits high notes with Dortmund success
Ireland's dressage star performer, Judy Reynolds, posted her first-ever 5-Star Freestyle victory in the heartland of the sport in Dortmund, Germany on Saturday.
Showing the characteristic grit that led her to the individual final at the Rio Olympic Games last summer, the 35-year-old recovered from a slightly disappointing performance in the previous day's Grand Prix to lay down a spectacular mistake-free Freestyle.
The Kildare-born rider and her 15-year-old gelding Vancouver K, 19th in the world rankings, now appear to have mastered the complexities of their demanding new Freestyle floorplan which has a high degree of difficulty from start to finish.
The pair, who next weekend will compete at the last leg of the Western European qualifying series in 's-Hertogenbosch (Holland), look well set for the World Cup Dressage Final which will take place in Omaha, Nebraska in four weeks' time.
Reynolds will be joined at the US fixture by Ireland's sole showjumping representative, Denis Lynch, and yesterday the Tipperary man was just pipped for the showjumping Grand Prix title in Dortmund.
Riding the 10-year-old Van Helsing, he set the target in the six-horse jump-off but was overtaken by The Netherlands' Sanne Thijssen.
Across in Wellington, Florida late on Friday night, double-clears from Paul O'Shea and Cian O'Connor clinched Ireland's second Nations Cup victory of the new season.
At Ocala, Florida two weeks earlier O'Connor was the hero when his fault-free performance with Seringat won the day. But this time around O'Shea and Skara Glen's Machu Pichu were also flawless while Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z collected just five faults over the two rounds and Conor Swail and Ruben LS La Silla made just one mistake second time out.
Ireland and Brazil shared the lead on a zero score at the halfway stage of the competition, but the Brazilians fell apart in the second round with 16 faults so with the best three scores counting for each team the final Irish tally of just four faults left them well clear of Team USA who lined up second with 13 faults.