Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

Cian's Blog

St. Gallen - A Tough But Rewarding Weekend

  • K Club lady in action at St. Gallen

Hi Everyone

The Meydan Series moved last weekend to St. Gallen in Switzerland, which is about an hour's drive from Zurich airport.

While the arena is very beautiful the show has been unlucky in recent years with the weather and this year was no exception. In fact the first day of the show was called off due to torrential rain and the tough track in the Nations' Cup on Friday made it all the more difficult as it was many of these horses' first day in the ring.

The Irish team team did well however to finish a very creditable 4th which leaves us lying 4th in the leaderboard so far after three legs of the Meydan Series.

K Club Lady jumped super, but in the first round of the Nations' Cup I rode her a little bit too quiet at the triple combination, and paid the penalty, having two parts down. In the second round she jumped the triple beautifully but we had an unlucky four faults earlier on the course, though I must say I was pleased how the mare was able to dig so deep. She really showed how big her heart is to come back and jump a good second round in difficult conditions.

She had a day off then to regroup before the Grand Prix and after some consultation with show jumping manager Robert Splaine we decided to pop her over a double in the practice arena on Saturday afternoon to make sure she was confident and jumping it well.

As the mare is very new to this level, and indeed with our partnership still gelling, there is no road map to go by, there is no script, and in many ways I'm just feeling my way along. It's great, therefore, to have the support of Robert on the ground. It's always good to have another pair of eyes.

The only way to describe yesterday's performance in the Grand Prix is that it was a revelation to me. To see the mare come to this level after never having experienced it before is really something. Out of 48 starters there were only two double clears - K Club Lady and Corradina with Carsten-Otto Nagel, who incidentally won a silver medal last year at the European championships.

K Club Lady answered all the questions - it was a big, long difficult course with an extremely tight time allowed, but she jumped it effortlessly. I'm absolutely thrilled with the result and I'm reminded of that Great American Hero song "Believe it or not I'm walking on air"!

With Rancorrado coming back after his break it leaves me with a very strong hand for the rest of the season. Over the next week K Club Lady has a break and then I will take her and Rancorrado to Hoofddorp and Estoril with the aim of building them towards Aachen.

I've no show for the next two weekends but will continue to blog nevertheless. Check back next week for more news.

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