In only his second year competing at Olympia, Cian won the Alltech Olympia Grand Prix tonight, reversing the Sunday night result and this time beating Eric van der Vleuten to the coveted trophy.
It is the first time an Irish rider has won the five star Grand Prix at Olympia since Eddie Macken triumphed in 1987. Cian beat a starting field of 32, comprising some of the world's best riders and horses, and was only one of two combinations to achieve a double clear.
He said after his win: "I am ecstatic at this win. It is a tribute to a truly great horse that he came second in the World Cup Qualifier last night, and then took first place tonight over a really demanding track. It's a great Christmas present for me and my staff, andI have to thank Rancorrado's owner Aileen Bryan for her wonderful support. Without her this would not have been possible."
Rancorrado gave Cian his best-ever Rolex World Cup Qualifier finish tonight at Olympia, when he came 2nd in the big 1m60 class. One of 11 through to the jump off, Cian was the first to go clear, and only Eric van der Vleuten managed to beat his time, and only by half a second in the closing minutes of the competition.
Afterwards Cian said: " This was a terrific night for me. The horse is just brilliant, and really proved his worth here at this prestigious show. To come second at any World Cup Qualifier is a real achievement at this level, but Olympia is special, and I am absolutely delighted."
Cian narrowly missed the jump-off in Sunday's Gucci Grand Prix in Paris, when Rancorrado touched the final pole on the course in the first round. Cian said: "It's very frustrating when that happens. We had a similarly unlucky pole down on Saturday night. But it wasn't the horse's fault. I do feel that we are knocking on the door, and that a major win will come soon."
Splendor gave Cian a fourth and a sixth place in the two 1m40 competitions on Friday and Sunday, and Rancorrado was also placed three times, in the big classes which he jumped.
Cian was really pleased about receiving a personal invitation to Olympia in London later this month. The Irish Federation only gets one spot for the World Cup shows, and Team Manager Robert Splaine has divided that amongst the riders, giving the Olympia selection on this occasion to Billy Twomey.
But in a positive development today, Cian received a personal invite from Olympia to appear there before Christmas. Cian said tonight: "I was thrilled to have received the invitation to be at Olympia this year. It's one of my favourite shows in the world. And for me it's especially important to put your best foot forward when competing there and doing as well as you can, for the show gets massive tv and radio coverage which gives us as riders unquantifiable benefits through the exposure."
Cian took second place in Friday's Grand Prix Qualifier with Rancorrado, behind France's Kevin Staut. On Saturday he had a 3rd with Irish Independent Echo Beach in the Two Phase class.