Ireland’s Sam Watson has moved up to seventh place in the  May FEI Global World Athlete rankings. His previous position was 11th.

Watson won the CCI4*-L class at the international horse trials in Ballindenisk, Co. Cork last month with the Traditional Irish Sport Horse Imperial Sky.

Watson is one of four Irish riders in the top 25 in the world, with Cathal Daniels ranked 16th, Padraig McCarthy in 18th and Sarah Ennis in 23rd.

Meanwhile, Eventing world champion, Britain’s Ros Canter, has overtaken compatriot Oliver Townend to claim the number one spot in the Eventing World Rankings for the first time, ending Townend’s 12-month reign at the top of the leaderboard.

Canter (33) is the first female athlete to top the Eventing rankings since fellow Briton Mary King held the world number one slot back in 2011. Over the past seven years the World Rankings have been dominated by four men – New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson, Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, Germany’s Michael Jung and Britain’s Oliver Townend.

At Badminton in England, meanwhile, Ireland’s bronze individual medallist from the World Equestrian Games of 2018, Padraig McCarthy, will join five other Irish riders in the five-star Eventing competition, one of only six five-stars in the world. The competition beings on Thursday with the first of the dressage tests.

Livestream of the first horse inspections can be seen here on Wednesday.

Free livestream coverage of the whole event can be accessed here.

Judy Reynolds

In dressage, Irish rider Judy Reynolds has broken into the world top 20, placing 19th in the latest FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking  published today.

Last month Reynolds and the 17-year-old Jazz gelding Vancouver K, placed 11th in the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.  The former Olympic finalist has risen steadily up the world dressage rankings this year setting a new Irish international Grand Prix Kür (Freestyle to Music) record score of 82.750% at the ninth leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ 2018/2019 Western European League in Neumünster, Germany last February.

-Jack Burns