Fresh from his great clear round in the La Baule Nations' Cup, Complete gave Cian another superb performance at CSI5* Madrid today when winning the 1m50 Grand Prix Qualifier. Cian outpaced Canadian Olympic Gold Medallist Eric Lamaze and his Beijing winner Hickstead in the Trofeo Altae Banco. Lamaze had won the two previous classes, but Complete denied him a third.
Cian said afterwards: "Complete is jumping out of his skin. He makes it look so easy, but in reality he is trying his heart out to win. He is in peak form at the moment, which I suppose is pretty obvious to anyone watching!"
The ever-consistent Baloufina jumped double clear to take 3rd place in the 1m45 jump off class on Sunday morning, gaining Cian a few valuable world ranking points.
Cian and Complete jumped the only clear round in what proved to be a disappointing day for the Irish at La Baule's FEI Meydan Nations' Cup, when the team did not qualify for the second round after their first round score of 18 faults.
Cian said: "Yes, it was disappointing for us as a team. But it's early days yet, and I think we will gather momentum as we move through Rome and St. Gallen in the months ahead. Complete was confident on the big course today, and jumped it very easily. I'm very pleased with him."
Cian has been selected as third to jump with Complete in tomorrow's Meydan Nations' Cup at La Baule. The Irish team has been drawn seventh to jump of ten nations competing and the jumping order will be:
1) Kevin Babington and Souvenir, 2) Shane Sweetnam and Amaretto D'Arco, 3) Cian and Complete, 4) Denis Lynch and All Inclusive.
The Cup will commence at around 2.15pm and we'll bring you up to date here as the day progresses.
Meanwhile Baloufina once again gave Cian a victory on the opening day of a major competition, when the mare won the 1m45 speed class today at La Baule. He said afterwards: "She's the best trier I've ever ridden. Let's hope there'll be more wins from her this week!"
The FEI today confirmed that Cian has risen to his highest ever Rolex World Jumping Ranking - now registering at 31st with a total of 1860 points, up from his previous place of 34th.
The new rank also means that Cian will be guaranteed entry to such prestigious shows as Cannes, Monte Carlo and Estoril for the Global Champions Tour.
Baloufina gave Cian an eighth place in the opening competition of the Global Champions Tour show at Valencia in Spain today, which was a 1m40 class against the clock. Baloufina went clear in a time of 52.76, unfortunately not fast enough to catch Daniel Etter from Switzerland, who won the competition with Tristan V.
Cian got off to a great start at the CSIO4* at Lummen on Thursday, winning the 20,000 euro 1m40 world ranking class with Irish Independent Echo Beach. The pair went on to finish 6th in the 1m50 Winning Round class on Friday.
Markopoulo jumped very well in the Derby to finish 6th which should set him up well for the Derby in La Baule in a fortnight's time. Cian was most pleased with Rancorrado, who competed in the two-star part of the show, where he had two clear jumping rounds in the Grand Prix today (time faults in the jump-off).