Judy Reynolds drawn first to compete at dressage World Cup finals

The Kildare native says she is well aware of the challenge ahead in Gothenburg

Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K. Photograph: Margie McLoone

Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K. Photograph: Margie McLoone

 

Ireland’s Judy Reynolds has been drawn first to compete in the Grand Prix when the Longines FEI dressage World Cup finals get under way in Gothenburg, Sweden on Friday.

The Germany-based Co Kildare native is due to enter the arena at 12 noon Irish time on the 17-year-old Jazz gelding Vancouver K which is owned by her parents, Joe and Kathleen, and she will be followed by 17 competitors from 11 other countries.

Despite missing some of the qualifying rounds at the start of the season, Reynolds secured her place in the finals following another impressive performance in the last qualifying round at ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands over St Patrick’s weekend.

Earlier this week, the 37-year-old, who is now ranked 21st in the world, said she was happy with how her preparations for the finals had gone but was well aware of the challenge ahead.

“This is a very tough year,” she stated. “It’s definitely the strongest field that I have been involved with as there are more riders from the top 30 than ever before. There are a group of us that are very close together in our performances and it will come down to who goes better on the day without any mistakes.”

The world number one rider, and double defending champion, Germany’s Isabel Werth, has been drawn 11th with her top-rated horse, Weihegold. All participants who finish Friday’s Grand Prix with a score of at least 60 per cent will go forward to Saturday’s Grand Prix freestyle to music (3pm start Irish time) which will decide who will be crowned champion.

There are no Irish riders competing in the Longines FEI show jumping world cup finals in Gothenburg which started on Thursday with a speed competition won by Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat on Alamo.

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