Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News

All to play for at Cavan

Cian takes four horses to the international show in Cavan this weekend - Ulano, Dual Star, Trebox Acorada and his young horse Sidney.

Friday night’s feature event at Cavan will also be the final leg of the Gain/Alltech Grand Prix series in which Cian is equal leader with Eddie Moloney.

Cian says: “I’m hoping of course that this last leg will win me the title, but I have a formidable opponent in Eddie. It could be a thrilling finale.”

Good Weekend in Caen

Cian and Karlswood rider Ross Mulholland enjoyed a good weekend at Caen in France.

Ross rode Da Vinci’s Pride (left) and finished up by winning Sunday’s 1m40 final. He also jumped Splendor, who was double clear in the Grand Prix qualifier and clear in the Grand Prix.

It was Blue Loyd's first show since Dublin, and he was in great form and full of beans. Jumped a super clear in the Grand Prix and had a rail down in the jump off to finish fourth.

Cian said afterwards "I was chuffed today for Ross to get an international win under his belt (click HERE for video) which is great, and Blue Loyd found his top form back on his debut appearance since the Dublin Horse Show.

"I gave him a nice break for eight weeks from shows and he jumped a super clear and finished 4th in the Grand Prix here. It sets him up well for my next indoor in Lyon in two weeks’ time which is a 5 star World Cup show.”

Off to Caen this weekend

This week Cian heads to the three star show in Caen, France along with Karlswood resident rider, Ross Mullholland.

Cian takes Blue Loyd (right) and Vanhoeve and Ross rides O’Connell Street and Davinci’s Pride. This show will act as a warm up for Cian’s upcoming World Cup outings at Lyon and Verona.

See Irish Examiner report HERE.

New mount wins for Cian first time out

Cian won the third leg of the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix league at Eglinton Equestrian Centre in Derry. Riding Sevil Sabanci's 11yr old gelding Ulano (left) Cian was one of 15 clears in round one.

Going first in the jump off proved fortunate for Cian as he set a standard that couldn’t be matched, to land the spoils at Eglinton. Cian said: "Ulano is a wonderful horse with a lot of possibilities. I'm fortunate to have him and look forward to jumping him at the major shows over the winter".

Blue Loyd equals 12th in world rankings

Cian's Olympic horse Blue Loyd this week became the highest-ranked horse competed by an Irish rider worldwide in the FEI WBFSH World Ranking List, coming in at equal 12th alongside VDL Groep Verdi. The top-ranked horse is the USA's Cristallo. Click HERE.

Cian wins Chinese World Cup competition

Cian this week became the first non-Chinese competitor ever to win Beijing's World Cup show jumping class.

Over 40 international competitors took part in the class. Due to quarantine restrictions the riders were allocated Chinese-based horses. Riding Wavanta, Cian also recorded the only double clear round in the international event, beating Chinese national Bian Baciren into second place, with Dutch rider Edwin Smits finishing third. Cian can be seen walking the course (below).

Cian said after the competition: "I am absolutely thrilled to win this major event here in China and perhaps contribute to the very encouraging relationship which is emerging between China and Ireland in regard to our respective horse industries.”

Congratulating Cian on the Irish triumph, Horse Sport Ireland chairman Joe Walsh said: "This is a terrific achievement for Cian, and enhances Ireland's developing profile as a major Sport Horse nation in the People's Republic of China. We look forward to further co-operation with them in the future."

The venue for the World Cup competition, Beijing International Equestrian Club, is one of China's main equestrian venues. The Equestrian Director is Galway native Austin Melia.

Commenting on his experience in China, Cian said: “The talent, enthusiasm and love for the horse was evident to see in the Chinese riders. These attributes can be further developed and nurtured with good quality coaching and a long term structure which could ultimately culminate in these riders being on the Olympic podium themselves.”

Cavan better than ever

It was a great week for the Karlswood team who took 14 horses to compete between Cian, Ross Mulholland and Christina Kelly. Christina’s horses all performed well and she was clear with the 6yr old Toulon gelding Playboy in his first 1.30m class.

Ross had good results all week with Sunday’s Grand Prix being the highlight where he jumped an outstanding clear with O’Connell Street.

Cian had a quiet start to the show but was keeping his powder dry until the end of the week for the two high profile classes. The 6 and 7 yr old Hankook Young Horse Final and the Grand Prix- winning both in great style when last to go.

Saturday night’s Young Horse Final is always a crowd favourite as everyone is anxious to see the upcoming superstars. Cian and the Cruise On mare Castellana won in great style, jumping three clear rounds and beating off the opposition in the final jump off.

In Sunday's feature Grand Prix event cian aboard Khaled al Eid's stallion Vanhoeve (left) took the honours to land the opening leg of the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix league.

Cian said afterwards, "I'm delighted how all the horses jumped this week and how Ross and Christina performed. Castellana was super in winning the 6 & 7 yr old Hankook final on Saturday and I’m so pleased how Vanhoeve jumped on Sunday. Cavan was a super show as always and we are all very lucky to have such a facility on our doorstep.”


Cian meets Chinese ambassador to Ireland

This week Cian flies to China to compete and coach at the Beijing International Equestrian Centre. Ahead of his trip he met with Chinese Ambassador Luo Linquan (left) at his residence in Dublin last week.

Cian plans to compete on borrowed horses at the Chinese event and coach and talk to aspiring Chinese equestrians.

Cian said: “It was great to meet with Ambassador Luo Linquan who gave me a great insight into China and the Chinese culture. I'm really looking forward to the trip and competing and coaching in totally different surroundings.

"It will be a bit of voyage of discovery for me, but I hope to forge bonds in Beijing that will last into the future for both myself and Ireland.”

Team Karlswood has a productive weekend in Cavan

Cian, Ross Mulholland and Christina Kelly competed a total of 11 horses over the weekend in Cavan.

All jumped well and it was a productive warm up ahead of the Cavan indoor championships which runs from 18-23 September.

Christina won the four year old final on Elastic Lux which is by Lux out of a Cavalier mare. Cian said "We have many talented young horses who have gotten a little left behind as I have been putting all my efforts into the international shows and the Olympics so it was great to get them all out and give them mileage".

Cian on winning Aga Khan team, third in grand prix

Cian had an incredible week at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show - a member of the winning Aga Khan team on Friday and coming home third in the Grand Prix on Sunday.

With pressure on both him and Blue Loyd after the great effort at the Olympics that won them a Bronze Medal, the duo nevertheless came though for the great Irish audience present at the show and watching on tv. Cian had been a member of Ireland's last Aga Khan triumph at Dublin in 2004, and was the only member of the team to have jumped in both.

On Sunday Blue Loyd came out again to do the business, this time a third place in the prestigious Longines Grand Prix. A single pole down in the first round nevertheless qualified Cian for the second round, where Blue Loyd delivered a terrific clear to finish just behind winner Carsten-Otto Nagel and runner-up Kevin Staut.

Horse and rider were later honoured at a special reception in Ratoath where Olympic Modern Pentathlete Natalya Coyle was also present.

Cian said: "Blue Loyd was fantastic on Sunday in the Longines Grand Prix at Dublin Horse Show, finishing third to round off a superb couple of weeks. I was humbled to see so many people turn out in Ratoath tonight to welcome home myself, Blue Loyd and Natalya Coyle who was 9th in London in the Modern Pentathlon. I've thoroughly enjoyed every single moment since winning the Bronze Medal in London and I want to thank everyone for all their support and well wishes. Onwards and upwards!!!"
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