Ireland names dressage rider for Rio

  • Judy Reynolds is “delighted” to have been nominated to represent Ireland at Rio, and said she is looking forward to the challenge.

    The dressage rider, who secured the Irish individual dressage spot in March thanks to her Olympic ranking, will ride Vancouver K, a 14-year-old gelding by Jazz owned by Judy’s parents Joe and Kathleen Reynolds.

    The combination won the four-star grand prix at Achleiten, Austria, on 3 June, setting a new Irish record score of 75.24%.

    He’s going amazingly and continuing to get better so I’m optimistic about Rio,” Judy said.

    “I was in a very fortunate position in that I knew I was the first choice, so barring any incidents or injuries I’d be chosen, but I’m delighted to finally get the Is dotted and Ts crossed, and get the official nomination.”

    Before Rio, Judy said, Vancouver K will compete at Rotterdam CHIO next weekend (23-26 June) Fritzens CDI (1-3 July) and the World Equestrian Festival at Aachen (8-17 July).

    “He gets better when he’s doing more competitions in a short space of time,” she explained.

    “The plan is to keep doing the grand prix special as we haven’t done a lot of that. He needs to get confident in it, then I think we can go and show our best.

    “We’re working hard and I’ve set my own personal goals for Rio; to get into the final [the freestyle to music] would be amazing for me.

    I’m really looking forward to it.”

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    Kevin McGuinness, chairman of Horse Sport Ireland’s dressage high performance committee, said: “Judy has continuously gone out and broken Irish records in her bid to secure a place for Ireland at the Rio Olympics.

    “In the process she has raised the profile of dressage in Ireland, competing against the best in the world. Judy and Vancouver K will travel to Rio on the strength of some outstanding performances and we wish her every success.”

    Roland Tong — who used to ride for Britain — has been named as reserve with Rybrook Ambience.

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