Ireland’s sole Dressage competitor at the Rio Olympics, Judy Reynolds, will today (Thursday) begin her campaign to bring home a medal when she and her 14 year-old bay gelding take part in the first part of the three-stage process that culminates in the Individual Final class on Monday, writes Jack Burns.
Judy rides Vancouver K, owned by her parents Joe and Kathleen Reynolds, and today at 14:54 in the dressage arena at Rio she will attempt to stay within the top 32 of 60 competitors in order to qualify for the second Individual Qualifier competition on Friday.
The 34 year-old, from Kilteel in Co. Kildare, will then have to be scored highly enough to finish in Friday’s top 18 so that she and Vancouver K qualify for the medal class on Monday. Both Friday and Monday’s competitions begin at 14:00 Irish time.
Irish equestrian fans will barely have time to catch their breath, as Olympic show jumping begins on Sunday (August 14), with Tipperary’s Greg Broderick and the Irish-bred Going Global competing in the first individual qualifier class.
Both Reynolds and Broderick will now be under huge pressure to achieve an equestrian medal following the failure of the Irish eventing team’s brave effort this week to break through into the podium places.
You can follow Judy Reynolds’s progress online at this link, or on BBC Sport Live from 13:50 Irish time