IRELAND’s leading dressage rider Judy Reynolds has announced the retirement of her top championship mount and Irish record breaker Vancouver K at the age of 19.

Reynolds and the Jazz-sired gelding, fondly known as JP, brought dressage in Ireland to new levels in recent years, continuously setting new records.

They qualified for the 2016 Olympic final in Rio, represented Ireland at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon and qualified for three World Cup finals, finishing fourth in Omaha in 2017.

Perhaps their best moment came in 2019 at the FEI European Championships when they secured team qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games, for the first time in Irish history, before going on to smash two further records and finish fifth individually.

Announcing the news on her social media this evening, Judy said: “I know I’ve 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. Too much. 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.

“Many people may ask why I’ve waited until now to make this decision but the fact is JP still wants to work and 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 and Davide and many many more people along the way.”

The pair also landed victories at Fritzens-Schindlhof, Dortmund, Devon and New York.

Thank you, JP, for the wonderful memories. We will miss watching you dance!

More on this story in Saturday’s The Irish Field.

A look down memory lane:

At the 2017 World CUp final in Omaha \ Erin Gilmore/Noelle Floyd

At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games \ INPHO

At the 2016 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage final, where they finished eighth \ Tomas Holcbecher

On their way to winning the $75,000 U.S. Open Dressage Freestyle CDI 4*,at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show \ Sportfot

After winning in Fritzens-Schindlhof, Austria \ Joe Reynolds

At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games