Ireland’s Judy Reynolds made history by winning the first ever four-star dressage Grand Prix to be staged at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in New York yesterday.
Partnering her Olympic horse Vancouver K, the Irish rider scored 73.800% to outscore Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (Paridon Magi) who earned 73.140%, with Canadian Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu (All In) taking third on 71.060%.
“I would not have missed this for the world,” said Reynolds, who said she had been thrilled to have been invited to compete at the event. “I had seen the pictures from the last couple of years. It’s an amazing location.”
Speaking about Vancouver K, Reynolds said that after competing in major events over the last two years, he was well able to cope with the atmosphere at the iconic show. “You are walking through the park and there is just so much going on, so they have to be able to focus on you still through all that. He is better when he competes often, so we take long breaks and then do more intense periods of competition. That is what works for him. I am glad we have taken the route of exposing him to different things.”
Judge Gary Rockwell praised the leading three for their performances in the New York setting. “There is a lot going on here, but I was quite impressed with how obedient the horses were in the arena. No one had any problems with distractions or anything, so it is definitely a setting that can handle a CDI4* like this. I am very happy with the rides today, especially these three horses. Every time I see them they are better.”