A SECOND fifth place finish for Judy Reynolds at the FEI European Dressage Championships this afternoon in Rotterdam has solidified her position as one of the most exciting dressage riders in the world.

Riding the ever-young 17-year-old gelding Vancouver K, owned by her parents Joe and Kathleen Reynolds, Judy danced to another personal best score of 85.589% in the Freestyle to Music final, beating her previous record by 3% when last into the Rotterdam arena.

She was in phenomenal company this afternoon, with the unstoppable Isabell Werth taking her third gold medal of the week aboard Bella Rose with a score of 90.875%, which is also a record for the German rider.

Werth led a German whitewash on the podium. Dorothee Schneider was just 0.3 of a point behind to take the silver medal aboard Showtime FRH and also achieved a personal best score of 90.561, ahead of teammate Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (TSF Dalera BB) in bronze (89.107%).

It was an all-female top five with Denmark’s Catherine Dufour in fourth place, and all of the top five riders were among the final five into the arena. Reynolds pined The Netherlands’ Edward Gal (Glock’s Zonik) into sixth.

“It’s our week, isn’t it? I don’t think we’ll ever have another week like it. It is just absolutely amazing,” Reynolds told The Irish Field just moments after her test.

Did you ever think you would be placed that high? “No,” she said with a laugh. “I thought if ever we were going to have a chance at that kind of finish, it was two years ago when I thought there was a bit of a less strong field coming in.

“Knowing who was coming here this week, I thought to get into the Freestyle was good, so to be top five twice is beyond what I could have imagined.

“The support has been absolutely amazing. People have come from Ireland, I have friends here from Germany. I haven’t began to be able to read all the message we have gotten, it will take me a week to go through it. It has been phenomenal support,” she added.