Cian’s Irish-bred horses continued their run of good form when placed in the two major classes at Sharjah this week. On Thursday night Cian steered Arabella to 5th place in the Grand Prix qualifier and then in Saturday’s Grand Prix jumped Larkhill Cruiser. The pair were drawn first to go and had an unlucky rail down in the middle of the combination. The format in the Arab League World Cups is that 25% go through to the second round.
Cian and Larkhill Cruiser produced a foot perfect jump off round to finish third. Syria’s Ahmed Hamcho won with the only double clear aboard his WEG mount Wonderboy and Khaled Al Eid of Saudi Arabia was second with the famous stallion Presley Boy, who also competed at Kentucky, and was just fractions quicker than Cian.
Following on from his win with Larkhill Cruiser in the Grand Prix Qualifier, Cian won Saturday's Accumulator with Arabella.
Cian saw this mare as a four year old when ridden by Sheila White and purchased half the mare from her breeder Mary Hughes. His rider Mark Kinsella brought Arabella up the grades and Cian just took over the ride in the past few months.
Larkhill Cruiser went on to place fifth in the Grand Prix for Cian when jumping four and clear over the two rounds, which helped clinch the Leading Rider of the Show award for Cian.
Also in the Grand Prix, Splendor finished second with his new rider, Ahmed Tolba, from Egypt. Cian said afterwards: "The main reason I came to the shows here in the UAE was to give clinics and most especially take care of Ahmed and ensure that he and Splendor gelled well together. It is a fantastic result for Ahmed and I'm very pleased to have played my small part.
"In addition both the horses that I jumped are Irish bred and both won a class in the first week of the tour. It's early days, but I couldn't have asked for a better start."
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Last weekend Cian continued his excellent run of form when scoring several top placings at the 4 star show in Abu Dhabi.
In the feature event on Thursday evening 1.45m Two Phase he placed third with Arabella who then went on to finish 4th in the Mini Grand Prix on Saturday. With only one clear round in the competition a single time fault was good enough to secure fourth place.
Larkhill Cruiser was 3rd in the Grand prix Qualifier on Friday evening and went on to jump clear in the Grand Prix on Saturday. With two on the floor in the second round they had to settle for sixth place on this occasion.
The Irish-bred Larkhill Cruiser, which Cian bought late last year, fulfilled its promise by winning the Grand Prix Qualifier in Dubai today, finishing two seconds clear of Syrian runner-up Ahmed Sancho. Cian said afterwards: "It's great to start off the New Year with a great win. Larkhill Cruiser is a super horse and I'm thrilled with how he jumped today as we're still getting used to each other."
Cian flies to Dubai this evening where he’ll meet up with his horses who he will be competing in the United Arab Emirates over the next five weeks. The first show kicks off this Thursday 6th until 8th January in Dubai and he will ride Larkhill Cruiser and Arabella (right).