Ireland’s Judy Reynolds gave all the credit to Vancouver K after scoring a superb 74.700% in the Grand Prix at the Olympic Games in Rio today.  “He was brilliant,” she said tonight, after the score ensured their qualification for the Grand Prix Special tomorrow.

The Irish rider played down her own part in the proceedings, preferring instead to concentrate on how well the horse, whose nickname is JP, had taken to the Olympic stage.

“He was so relaxed and so cool and stayed with me,” she told We Live Horse tonight. “He was brilliant. I couldn’t have asked him for any more. He was very relaxed which enabled me to concentrate on what I was doing.”

It was an Olympic debut for Reynolds as well as for Vancouver K and the Irish rider admitted to being a little nervous first thing this morning, but less so when the competition began. “When I got into the arena I was not as nervous as I thought I could be,” she said.

Her score today was her second-best Grand Prix score ever, behind her Irish record of 75.240% set in Austria in June. She now feels she may have to set another personal best score in the Grand Prix Special if she is to make it through to the final. “I would expect so – I knew coming here it would have to be a very good Special,” said Reynolds, who added that a large part of their preparation for Rio has been with the Grand Prix Special in mind.

Germany top the team standings after the Grand Prix stage, with Great Britain in second and the USA third. The team medals will be decided tomorrow based on scores over the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, but the Individual Final (Freestyle to Music), which will take place on Monday, will be contested by the top 18 performers in tomorrow’s Grand Prix Special. Mike Dunne