Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

Cian's Blog

Balve - A Worthwhile Weekend

  • Myself pictured at the in gate at Balve having a chat with Jimmy Doyle, former Army groom and now a respected trainer in the US

The three star international show in Balve, Germany was a very worthwhile event for my horses. The organisation was top class, with good courses built by Frank Rothenberger on the excellent sand surface.

Balve is a family-run show run by Rosalie van Landsberg and her team, who are her friends and colleagues, and they do a wonderful job in the grounds of the castle and they entertained us there for dinner on the Friday night, which was very pleasant.

It was Rancorrado's first show in preparation for Aachen in a fortnight's time. He jumped clear in a 1m40 class and also performed really well in the Grand Prix, just having one rail down. Splendor was double clear and placed fifth in the 1m45 final on Sunday.

Running concurrently with the CSI3* was the German National Championships. The final was on Sunday afternoon and I stayed back to watch. From my point of view this was particularly interesting - being able to walk these courses and study the riders in the ring and warming up and view the whole class without the pressure of competing. The championships were won outright in the end by Philipp Weishaupt with Souvenir, and he's the stable jockey for Ludger Beerbaum. It was nice to see him winning and he did a really good job. I believe the German chef d'equipe picks his team for Aachen after watching the championships, and it's always interesting to be open-minded and see how other countries work because one is never too old to learn!

This weekend I jump in Norten Hardenberg which I gather is about 100kms from Hanover. I'll take Rancorrado, Splendor and Baloufina there. Lucy Buchanan is also in action there with Cavalier Andy and one from my stables, PS I Love You, and I believe Kevin Babington is competing there also.

Have a good week and check back next Monday for another update.

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