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Judy Reynolds has announced the retirement of her long-time partner Vancouver K, owned by her parents Joe and Kathleen.
Vancouver K is the greatest horse to represent Ireland on the international Dressage stage and has inspired a new generation of Irish Dressage riders with his record-breaking performances around the world.
Reynolds and the now 19-year-old Vancouver K, better known as JP, reached heights never before seen by an Irish Dressage combination. The pair represented Ireland in an Olympic Final, a World Championship Final, a European Championship Final and three World Cup Finals. Vancouver K regularly smashed Irish Dressage records. He currently holds all three Irish International record scores in Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle To Music.
A breath-taking performance of Vancouver K and Judy Reynolds at the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam was key to helping the Irish team to make history and qualify for the Olympic Games for the very first time. Though Vancouver K will not now compete in Tokyo, Ireland will still have a Dressage team at the Olympics.
Speaking after announcing the retirement of Vancouver K, Judy Reynolds paid an emotional tribute to her horse of a lifetime:
“I know I have always said that JP would decide when it was time to retire but I’ve had to make that decision for him. This horse has more heart than anyone can imagine and at 19 he still tries to give me everything. I’ve decided that it’s time to stop asking. What a trip it’s been. A good horse can carry you all around the world and back again. 1 Olympic Final, 3 World Cup Finals, 1 WEG Final, 1 European Championship Final. A good record for any horse but a great one for a horse that many thought wasn’t good enough.
“Many people may ask why I’ve waited until now to make this decision but the fact is JP still wants to work. We have given him every chance to be able to perform on the world’s biggest stage one more time but alas it is not to be. It has been a massive team effort over the years to allow JP and I to perform, my Parents, Patrick, Libby, Johann, farrier Errol, my vets the late Dr Stihl, Dr Hülsey, Dr Beeke, Marcus & Davide and many many more people along the way. JP you legend.”
Vancouver K also scored major international wins at Achleiten and Fritzens-Schindlhof in Austria, Dortmund in Germany, and at Pennsylvania and New York in the USA.