Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K through to next round

Ireland’s sole dressage rider at the Olympics, Judy Reynolds, said she “couldn’t have asked any more” of her horse Vancouver K after she achieved her immediate goal of qualifying for today’s second round.

The German-based Kildare rider scored 74.700%, putting her 21st individually and into today’s grand prix special.

“I’m thrilled,” said 35-year-old Reynolds. “JP [the stable name for Vancouver K] was stunning. He felt at his absolute best. It was one of the best scores we’ve had so far. There were no mistakes. He was really with me the whole time. He was super and really relaxed. I couldn’t have asked any more of him.”

Today’s contest should see 32 riders take to the arena, made up of six countries of four riders each battling for the team medals, plus eight individuals. Last night’s leaderboard, however, showed just 31 had qualified. Top of the list is Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro, 85.071%), followed by Germany’s Kristina Broring-Sprehe (Desperados FRH, 82.257%) and her compatriot Dorothee Schneider (Showtime FRH, 80.986%).

The top 18 overall will go through to Monday’s freestyle contest, which will decide the individual medals, though no country can have more than three riders progress. Reynolds said she was hopeful of making the decider, but felt it will be even tougher today than she had anticipated.

“I hope I can make the top 18, the scores may be even higher than we had been banking on. It is going to take some serious score. I think he [Vancouver K] deserves it, but obviously it depends on how the others do. We can only do what we can do and we will have to see where the chips fall.

“My team, my husband Patrick Heavey and my groom Libby Dudman, and my mum and father Kathleen and Joe have played a huge role in getting me so far.

Also, the support from home has been fantastic. It’s more than I could ever have expected. The amount of people watching it at home is mind-blowing.”

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