Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

Cian's Blog: January, 2011

A Relaxing Week In Dubai

  • Dubai Marina

Hi everyone,

The past week has been a free one with no show on here in Dubai. It was nice for the horses just to take it easy, after the other three competitions at Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

It was a great opportunity for us to explore a bit and see some of the major attractions around. We did some shopping, went to the water parks, ate in some nice restaurants and generally spoiled ourselves for the week.

Back to serious business though this week with the final leg of this tour in Al Ain from Thursday to Saturday, and while I’ve really enjoyed my time here I’m ready for home.

Check back next weekend to see how it goes.

Best wishes, take care.

Sharjah - A Great Venue

  • Part of the Emirate of Sharjah

Hey everyone,

This weekend the Arab League moved to the indoor venue at Sharjah equestrian centre, situated just 30 minutes outside Dubai. It is a beautiful set up with two large indoor arenas and spacious airy stables.

Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi carried top prize money but as Sharjah was a two star the money on offer was less. I aimed my horses at the two feature classes and thankfully was placed in both. Arabella jumped super and showed she has matured a lot and placed 5th in the Grand Prix qualifier. Joey (Larkhill Cruiser) was fantastic again and finished 3rd in the Grand Prix.

Im busy teaching again this week week which is enjoyable and the horses have a deserved 10 day break ahead of the final leg of the tour at Al Ain.

Check back next week for more news.

Best wishes,

Clocking Up Some Useful Points

  • Larkhill Cruiser in action in the UAE

Hey everyone,

I’m sure people think I’m having a ball over here and while it is pleasant, it certainly isn’t a holiday! Following the shows I have clinics in three different venues each morning or afternoon every day until the next show.

It’s great to be busy and always nice to meet new people. Everybody is so friendly and welcoming and happy to have us here.

My horses jumped great again in Abu Dhabi with Larkhill Cruiser placing 3rd and 6th in the Grand Prix Qualifier and Grand Prix respectively. Also Arabella placed in two 1m45 classes, 3rd and 4th.

The great thing for me is that they were all world ranking classes and I can get some needed points. As I explained in a  recent article I wrote for my column in the Irish Field we lose points that we won that time the previous year, and as last December I won the Grand Prix in London and January I won the Grand prix in Basel, those points subtracted put a dent in my total.

It’s super that I can chip away over here, get some points and at the same time produce these two Irish bred horses who I believe will both jump very big classes this summer.

This weekend we jump at the two star show in Sharjah, just about a 30 minute drive from Dubai.

Check back next week for more news.

Best wishes,

A Good Weekend At The Office

  • Dubai Marina

Hi everyone,

I'm writing this from the apartment where I’m staying for the next month, while competing in the UAE. It’s situated close to Dubai Marina and it’s really an amazing experience to be here.

I had scheduled clinics here during this period and was asked to coach some riders that were competing at the shows. Then I just decided why not take a few out for myself and I'm so glad I did. Both Arabella and Larkhill Cruiser won a class each at the weekend and so the demand for clinics as rapidly increased! It's fun being here. The local people are extremely hospitable and the weather is super, even though it’s sometimes tough working in this heat.

The apartment I have is great and it allows me to have family and friends come over each week. We have a kind of roster, and when one friend or family member leaves another arrives! At the end of the day, work is work wherever you do it, but it’s not a bad way to spend January.

I’m doing three more shows here over the coming weeks so check back to see how its going.

Best wishes,

Happy New Year To One And All!

Hey Everyone,

I had a lovely time over the Christmas break. I spent Xmas Eve with my dad, Xmas Day with my mum and two sisters, Susanna and Pippa, who cooked an amazing meal, Xmas night I went to the north where I spent a few days with Ruth and her family.

I am just getting myself organised for Dubai, I fly there on Monday. The first of four shows in the UAE begins in Dubai next Thursday and I'm really looking forward to competing out there. I will also be giving regular clinics each week in the equestrian club and there is also the added bonus of getting a bit of sun. My mum will travel out with me for the first two weeks then Ruth will join me. It's nice to have the company and despite common opinion amongst the family I'm not just bringing my mum to do the washing and cooking!

I am really looking forward to tackling 2011 with a positive attitude, further develop both my business and career. Every wise man will tell you that there are always opportunities in recession and I firmly believe that there are great possibilities in this game presently if I apply myself and increase my brand awareness globally.

I will be giving several updates about my travels in the UAE so check back regularly.

I hope this year will be a good one for us all.

Best wishes,

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