Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

Cian's Blog

Irish Riders Jump For Haiti

  • The four members of the Irish Nations' Cup team in Abu Dhabi:myself, Dermott Lennon, Cameron Hanley and Billy Twomey

Hi Everyone.

Apologies for being a little bit late with the blog this week. Everything was a bit out of sync with flying to Abu Dhabi last Sunday night. All the irish horses arrived safe and sound and we had a veterinary inspection and the warm up class today that went well, without any glitches.

The showgrounds are in the Polo grounds in a place called Ghantoot which is halfway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I think the best way of explaining the surrounding is if you can imagine the main ring and the stand at the RDS Dublin being dropped in the middle of the desert. It's fantastic, remarkable what can be done and how the people here are so keen to promote the sport and raise the level.

There's three days of jumping, starting tomorrow, and finishing with the Grand Prix on Saturday, which carries a prize fund of 300,000 euro.

On Friday the four of us line out in the Nations' Cup and as always at a Nations' Cup show this competition will be our priority here this week. All of us in conjunction with our Chef, Robert Splaine, were chatting about Haiti and the horrendous situation there following the earthquake. We thought was there anything we could contribute to help relieve the situation for some of the Haitian people in any way. I suppose we're quite lucky, we get to travel the world and go to these shows and get opportunities to jump in major competitions.

Though we may sometimes complain how hard this business is, nevertheless any problems we may have pale into insignificance when you contrast them with the awful situation in Haiti and it is for this reason that as a team we have decided to donate any money won in the Nations' Cup competition on Friday to the charity GOAL, so that they can make sure it sure it is properly used.

Hopefully we win, fingers crossed, check back on the news page for updates.

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