Ireland’s Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K won the Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) at the CDI-W show in Devon, Pennsylvania, USA early this morning (Sunday) on a score of 77.55%.

Reynolds is the first Irish rider to win two big tour classes at back-to-back FEI CDI international dressage shows.  Last week the Kildare-born rider won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) at the Rolex Central Park show in New York.

Reynolds is also the first rider from Ireland to win big tour classes at CDI4* and CDI-W shows in North America.  Yesterday  she set a new Irish international Grand Prix record score of 75.66% when winning the Grand Prix at the CDI-W show in Devon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

On a damp evening at the Dressage at Devon show grounds, Reynolds and Vancouver K produced a scintillating sequence of passage and piaffe trot movements, under lights, to her familiar ‘King of the Road’ backing track along with eye-catching canter pirouettes to the beat of the ‘Age of Aquarius’.

A foot perfect finish down the centre line to a square halt, to the exact beat of the music, meant that there would be only one winner and for only the second time in the history of Dressage at Devon the Irish national anthem ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ would be played at the victory ceremony.

It was close for second and third with Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen (My Lady) scoring 74.75% for their ‘Hey Big Spender’ themed freestyle programme.  Arlene Page made it a podium finish for America with her dual Tryon CDI3* winner Woodstock on 74.15%.

“I’m very pleased,” said Reynolds. “Apart from one small hiccup, Vancouver K produced wonderful piaffe/passage trot work and great pirouettes this evening.” Speaking about Joe and Kathleen Reynolds’ 14-year-old Jazz gelding Vancouver K she said “I have had him since he was a six year-old and he continues to exceed my expectations.”

Twenty-sixteen has been a season to remember for the Irish Olympian – Reynolds and Vancouver K were the first Irish combination in 24 years to qualify for the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro, where they placed 18th in the final. The Irish rider has recorded five international dressage big tour wins in 2016, including the Grand Prix at Achleiten CDI4*, Austria in June 2016.

Jack Burns