Ireland's Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K scored 76.700 per cent to win the Grand Prix Kür (freestyle dressage to music) at the five-star show in Dortmund, Germany on Saturday night.
Performing to her 1980s divas-themed programme, the Kildare-born rider produced a brilliantly choreographed floor plan, gaining marks for the high degree of technical difficulty of her canter pirouette and piaffe/passage trot transitions. From the six starters, the Irish combination topped the scores of four of the five judges.
A freestyle performance full of energy and expression clinched a first five-star win in Germany for the Irish rider who is based in that country at Hünxe near Wesel, in North Rhine-Westphalia. Germany’s Hendrik Lochthowe placed second with Meggle’s Boston (73.575) ahead of his compatriot Beatrice Buchwald riding Daily Pleasure (72.750).
“Overall I am delighted,” said Reynolds who is currently ranked 19th in the latest FEI dressage rankings with Vancouver K, a 15-year-old Jazz gelding owned her by parents Joe and Kathleen Reynolds. “This is the first time we’ve almost had a clear round with the new Kür and ‘J.P.’ is getting more confident performing it which is important for him.
“I plan to go to the final FEI World Cup qualifier in ‘s-Hertogenbosch next week before heading to the FEI World Cup dressage final in Omaha at the end of the month.”
In Wellington, Florida on Saturday night, Irish riders filled three of the top six placings in the 1.50m jump-off class but missed out on the top slot which was filled by the USA’s Lucy Deslauriers riding Hester.
Nine of the 49 starters progressed to the second round where seven combinations recorded double clears, Deslauriers coming home in 37.068 to claim the honours. Ireland's Darragh Kenny finished second on Bolero III (37.282) ahead of compatriot Kevin Babington with the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Mark Q (37.486). Riding Main Road, Shane Sweetnam slotted into fifth (39.144).
Although picking up €5,000 for finishing 15th on Molly Malone in the lucrative 1.60m Grand Prix at the five-star show in Doha on Saturday, Bertram Allen returned home a lot lighter in pocket than Britain's Scott Bash who, after a third-round, four-horse jump-off, claimed the first prize of €165,000 with the 16-year-old mare Ursula XII.