Two Irish Dressage riders have finished inside the top nine in today's four-star Grand Prix at the picturesque Fritzens-Schindlhof show held amongst the Tyrolean Alps in Austria.
Kildare's Judy Reynolds and the Joe and Kathleen Reynolds-owned Vancouver K claimed a hugely impressive third place finish on the podium, following an excellent performance which saw them score 75.000%. It was the first outing for the pair at international level since April's FEI World Cup Dressage final in Gothenburg (SWE).
Judy Reynolds was delighted with how Vancouver K performed on his return to action:
"I'm really happy with how he went, he did a stunning performance and that's even more important than the placing. Considering that it was our first outing since the beginning of April it couldn't have gone any better really. It's a spectacular venue here and without doubt the most beautiful in the world."
Ireland's Anna Merveldt took ninth place with Esporim (Photo: Joe Reynolds)
The competition, which attracted 20 starters, saw two Irish riders finish inside the top nine, with Anna Merveldt claiming ninth place with Esporim. Drawn as the very first rider to enter the arena, Merveldt scored 69.761% with the 10-year-old gelding who is owned by Giovanna Mazza. Victory went to Germany's long-time World No.1 Isabel Werth with Bella Rose on a score of 82.957%, while runner-up spot went to Lisa Müller (GER) with Gut Wettlkam's Stand on 75.478%.
Judy Reynolds, Anna Merveldt along with Heike Holstein, will represent Ireland as a team in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany next month, having received an invitation from the show organisers. Ireland also has six combinations who have achieved the minimum entry requirements for the 2019 FEI European Championships which is a key fixture on the qualification journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Photo by Joe Reynolds