Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist
Ireland wins Aga Khan Trophy at Nations Cup, Dublin, August 2015
Darragh Kenny, Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick and Cian O’Connor are the winners of the Aga Khan trophy
Darragh Kenny, Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick and Cian O’Connor are the winners of the Aga Khan trophy that goes along with the Nations Cup at Dublin in the €200,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup held earlier this month. This trophy was last won by Ireland in 2012.

The Irish collected a cheque for €64,000 after finishing on a total score of four penalties, ahead of the Netherlands on eight penalties. They have also qualified for the Barcelona Furusiyya Nations Cup final of the European Division 1 league final in September.  3rd place went to Team Switzerland, with Germany 4th and Spain coming in 5th.

20-year-old FEI ranked World No. 5 Bertram Allen, made his first appearance on a senior Nations Cup team on the 17-year-old KWPN gelding Romanov. He was the first to jump and tipped a vertical, but he crossed the timers with zero faults in Round 2.

It was Cian’s 100th cap for Ireland and his third Nations Cup triumph. He was the veteran of the group and today he was aboard 9-year-old Good Luck, a Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Adena Springs. He had a fence in hand. Good Luck knocked a fence, but horse and rider kept their nerve.

Newcomer Broderick delivered two clear rounds with the Irish-bred 9-year-old MHS Going Global. “He’s not afraid of big occasions or big rings,” Broderick said.

Ireland was in the lead after round one with a zero score. They held their act together and finished the day on four faults without even needing their fourth rider, Kenny, to jump in Round 2. The watching crowd were hysterical with joy.

Last year’s winners of the Aga Khan, Team USA, achieved a dismal score of 32 faults and landed them in an unusual last place.

Team Great Britain was another favourite but they had numerous small problems across the track.

Several of the horses balked and refused to complete the turn away from the ingate toward fence 6, with The Netherlands’ Vignet stopping in a rearing fit but rider Johnny Pals managed to calm him and continued to finish the course without jumping faults. Switzerland’s Guerdat and Corbinian faced a similar situation in Round 2.

“I think that sometimes horses give a big effort in that arena in the first round, and then they go back and they say ‘well I’m not going down there again’,” Cian explained. “What a day!! This is what justifies all the work and effort that all the riders and their vital background teams put in! It was a very special day to be part of the winning Team in Dublin on my 100th Cap. What a great bunch of lads to ride alongside and for the first time in a long time there is a great sense of want and desire to win in the Team and I believe this is something we can build on towards next year's Olympics!  I feel so lucky to have what I feel are the most incredible staff at Karlswood and an amazing back ground team of people who help make days like today possible. Thanks so much to you all and of course my amazing horse Good Luck and to his owners at Adena Springs!” 

The 2015 European Championships is coming up later this month at Aachen, where Ireland hope to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics and push for a medal as well.

Aga Khan win is the perfect prep!
Dublin Horse Show is a highlight for most competitors but for the Irish it’s much more than that.
Hey Everyone,
Dublin Horse Show is a highlight for most competitors but for the Irish it’s much more than that. The team of Bertram, Greg, myself and Darragh performed even better than we looked on paper. The Dublin leg marked my 100th cap on the Irish team so to win it was very special! 

In those 100 caps we've had some good performances and some not so good - all for various reasons! But prior to the Nations Cup in Dublin there was a confidence that we could win. When you have a likeminded group of guys all wanting the same goal and working solely towards winning the Nations Cup it makes a huge difference. Enthusiasm from all creates team spirit, and a willingness to help each other, backed by a manager who believes in each of us, culminates in what I believe is the beginning of a winning formula.

We all travel to Aachen next week with Denis Lynch also in the squad with All Star who was 7th at the world games last year individually and also has decent current form this season too. Any Team of 4 riders needs a strong squad and we probably have 6 or 7 decent combinations all capable of doing a good job. This strength is very promising for the future success of the team.

Winning is a habit which is good to practise and like a good football team when you win then you expect to win - you get on a roll. Olympic qualification is the most important task next week in Aachen where we have to finish in the top 3 of the non-qualified teams but ultimately if we aim to win a medal then we can kill two birds with the one stone!

The arena in Dublin is very similar to Aachen so both for the horses and the riders it should act as the perfect prep!

Follow the updates on Team Ireland Facebook and indeed my own page.

Chat soon,


Recent Articles

The Irish Field
Aug 08, 2015

There were euphoric scenes at the RDS yesterday evening as the Irish team pulled off an emphatic win in the Nations Cup to secure the Aga Khan trophy for Ireland.

 Download (1.8MB) »

100Caps for Ireland on senior teams

  • 17 winning teams
  • 12 appearances on the Irish team for the Aga Khan trophy in Dublin with 3 wins in 2004, 2012 and 2015
About Cian

Cian O’Connor is an Irish International show jumping rider, coach, horse producer and consultant. Based at Karlswood Stables in County Meath, Ireland he achieved the pinnacle of his sporting career when claiming individual bronze at the London Olympic Games. Cian competes successfully all over Europe, America, the Middle East & China.

Favourite sporting moment

(Besides the London Olympics)

Winning the puissance in Dublin in 2002, jumping 2.25m when last to go on the great Casper and receiving a standing ovation from the amazing home crowd.

Cian trains his horses at Karlswood Stables, a world class facility for coaching young and upcoming riders, and for prepping of all classes of showjumping horses. Book a clinic to benefit from Cian's world-class expertise.

Meet the superstars! Check out Cian's horses for 2015 and watch them in action:

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