Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News

Joint 3rd for Team Ireland at La Baule

  • Cian and Quidam's Cherie
  • Cian O'Connor and Blue Loyd in the 2014 Longines Grand Prix of La Baule
  • Cian O'Connor and Blue Loyd in the 2014 Longines Grand Prix of La Baule
  • Cian O'Connor and Quidam's Cherie for #TeamIreland for the 2014 Furusiyya Nations Cup in La Baule
  • Cian and Quidam's Cherie
  • Cian and Quidam's Cherie at La Baule
  • Cian and Quidam's Cherie at La Baule

Cian's horses left Deauville on Wednesday to join Team Ireland for the 2014 Furusiyya Nations Cup event in La Baule, France.

The first day went well - Cian rode his 2012 Olympic Bronze medal winning mount, Blue Loyd, jumping clear in the 1.40m, and Quidam's Cherie, did the same in the 1.50m. 

The Nations Cup team for the CSIO5* event was Denis Lynch on All Star, Cameron Hanley on Antello Z, Billy Twomey on Diaghilev and Cian O'Connor on Quidam's Cherie and Blue Loyd. Ireland started fourth out of eight, with clear rounds for Billy, Denis and Cian. Cian, on Quidam’s Cherie, went clear in the second round, helping Team Ireland to finish in joint third place with Team GBR. 

Cian rode Blue Loyd again on Sunday with only two down in the €200,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix.

Cian said he was pleased with the overall results at La Baule, adding "Blue Loyd was clear in two smaller classes during the week and had two down in today's 1.60m Grand Prix. He jumped really well, but he hasn't jumped a track as big and as wide since last August in Dublin, so needless to say he needed the run, which he will come on from over the next few weeks... Quidam’s Cherie was super in the Nation's Cup and I'm so pleased with how she's turning out!"

Cian also had an excellent result from his new mount, Ghana, an 8yr old mare by Vigo x Cash, jumping double clear in the ranking class. She joined the Karlswood stable only last week heading straight into her first competition at La Baule.

Weather shortens a successful few days at Le Touquet

At Le Touquet, Blue Loyd, Quidam’s Cherie and Quidam’s Flower were, once again, clear in all classes they jumped, while Nikki Walker jumped clear with her new ride, Cooper. Blue Loyd jumped a great round in the Grand Prix qualifier to finish 3rd.

With poor weather setting in and deteriorating ground conditions, Cian decided to save the horses for another day and packed up at Le Touquet on Saturday, to give the horses a few days' break before starting preparation for the CSIO5* Furusiyya Nations Cup at La Baule, France.

Three double clears for Karlswood in France

It was a great weekend in Fontainebleau with Blue Loyd, Quidam's Cherie and Quidam's Flower jumping clears in all the classes competed in. Flower was double clear in Sunday's small GP, Loyd was double clear in Friday's GP Qualifier and Cherie was clear in Saturday's GP Qualifier - and double clear, placing 2nd in Sunday's Grand Prix! Fontainebleau is a great arena and all horses are set up well for La Baule in two weeks' time.

Strong Irish Team named for La Baule!

  • Cian at the Team Ireland launch last week

Robert Splaine, Irish Team Manager announced the La Baule team who will line out in the opening leg of the Furusiyya Nations Cup next month.

Cameron Hanley, Denis Lynch, Billy Twomey and Cian will make up the team. Cian said after the announcement, "I'm thrilled to be a part of the La Baule team. It’s one of the best shows in the world and this squad looks really strong. With a bit of luck we can repeat our 2011 victory at the French fixture." 

 

Cian wins leading rider award!

  • Cian O'Connor and Carolus Z, winners of the $10K Waldron Welcome Stake at Live Oak International 2014 on Friday, 21 March

Last week Cian headed north of Wellington to compete at Live Oak in Ocala with Carolus Z and Quidam's Cherie.

Cherie was third in the opening class and jumped her first world cup qualifier for just 5 faults. Carolus Z won a big class and these consistent results were enough to secure Cian the $10,000 leading rider prize.

Cian said afterwards "this was a super show and I know the horses enjoyed it as much as the riders! I was thrilled with both horses, especially Cherie. She was third in a big Grand Prix in Wellington a few weeks ago, but I wanted to come here to see how she was on grass, and - if anything - she was nearly better! I'm really looking forward to developing her over the summer”.

End on a high!

  • Quidams CherieWellington, Florida
  • Keeping in touch with fansWellington, Florida

Week 8 in Wellington, Florida finished on a high with a 3rd place in the CSIO 4* Grand Prix for Cian and Quidam's Cherie.

The only Irish rider to go through to the jump-off from a starting field of 50, Cian steered the Adena Springs Stables mare to a further clear round, but was just over three seconds slower than Britain’s Ben Maher who took first place.

Cian said, “It was her first time jumping a four star Grand Prix and I didn't push her in the jump off but rather stayed neat and was thrilled with her double clear performance. Long season ahead so will give her two weeks off again now and then build to the grand finale here.”

The success comes after Team Ireland finished joint fourth in Friday’s Nation's Cup in Wellington. Quidam's Cherie jumped a super first round clear but was a little green in the big atmosphere and unfortunately had two down in round two. Shane Sweetnam was 4 and 4, Richie Moloney 8 and clear and Paul O’Shea was 5 and 4.

“We would have liked to have gone better but we all played our part and for me it was great mileage for my young mare,” said Cian after the competition.

Great start to 2014

  • Carolus Z2nd place in a 3* Grand Prix on St Valentine’s Day
Cian and his team are based in Wellington, Florida for the first three months of the new year. They are already half way through the 12 week long winter equestrian festival and have clocked up some notable results already. 

Quidam's Cherie, whom Cian rides for Adena Springs Stable, has shown great form since Cian took up the ride in December last. They were double clear in a 1.50m jump off class during the five star show in Wellington last month, finishing 4th. 

Carolus Z was 2nd in a three star Grand Prix on St Valentine’s Day and has performed extremely well throughout the circuit. Next week is week 8 and it's Nation's Cup week, where Cian has been named as part of the 6 man squad with Quidam's Cherie.

Another great year at London's Olympia

  • Cian's new 8 year old mare Quidam's Cherie

Cian had a great end to one of the world's best indoor shows - London Olympia on Sunday. Blue Loyd was drawn 29th of 34 starters, and jumped a brilliant clear in the Grand Prix but unfortunately was a little tired in the jump off and had 2 fences down. Overall, Cian was pleased with his performance.

Both Cooper and Cian's new 8 year old mare Quidam's Cherie jumped well all week and ended the year on a good note.

The horses now have a few easy days before 11 of them fly to Miami on the 27th for the Winter Equestrian Festival in Palm Beach. The Karlswood team's next show is the Donald Trump Invitational on January 5th in Palm Beach, where Cian will ride Cooper.

Cian in the money in Parma

Cian and his three horses performed well last weekend at the inaugural indoor international event in Parma, Italy. Cooper was double clear on the opening day in the 1.40m class to place 7th and jumped really well in the GP when just knocking one fence and having a time fault. Carolus Z really jumped out of his skin when taking runner up spot in Friday’s one round GP qualifier. Cian rode Nicole Walker’s talented 7 yr old gelding Saphir in the 1.35m classes and was double clear on Saturday.

Cian said afterwards, "This was a great show for my horses as a warm up for Olympia in London next month. There was a lot of atmosphere here and plenty to distract the horses, so it will stand to them later I'm sure." 

Photos from CSI-W Verona

  • Cooper making little of the feature class on Day 1
  • Cooper
  • Cooper showing off his tidy front end
  • Cooper
  • Carolus Z jumping the Grand Prix
  • Dual Star
  • Dual Star was placed in the opening class
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