Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

Cian's Blog: March, 2011

Sunshine Tour Comes To A Close

Hey everyone

I’m just writing to you from Malaga airport where our flight has unfortunately been delayed until midnight but on a positive note it gives me time to update my web!

This weekend went well with all the horses jumping out of their skin. Larkhill Cruiser was very good in Friday’s 1m50 Grand Prix, jumping clear and 4 to finish 5th. And in today’s 1m60 Grand Prix Splendor jumped an impeccable round until the last line where I sat a little bit quiet to the last fence and after he’d backed off the colourful butterflies it left him with a bit too much to do and faulted for four faults.

Obviously disappointing having jumped such a good round and jumping all the difficult lines well, however I feel he has stepped up to 1m60 level very well and has improved a lot since last year.

The horses will come home quite slowly and will be back next Friday, stopping at scheduled halts through Spain, France and England. We have two extra horses coming home than we came out with, as I bought a very good 5 year-old and 7 year-old, so I’ll be looking forward to getting them back home.

The horses will have a three week break and I will use Dundalk to prepare them for the next trip internationally. You can see my show schedule for the summer on my news page. For the month of April I plan to be home for the most part although I have clinics planned in Cornwall in England, Sligo, and in the Northern and Leinster regions as well.

It’ll be nice to be home for a while as we’ve been on the road almost continuously since December -  it’ll be nice to have some form of normality for a while at least.

Check back next week for more news

On A Roll!

  • With Splendor in the Grand Prix

Hey everyone,

Last weekend went according to plan once again on the Spanish Sunshine tour. The weather picked up and all the horses are really in top shape.

Splendor was superb in the Grand Prix and jumped two clear rounds to finish 3rd. Ahmed Tolba, who bought Splendor last year is studying until the end of May and so I will keep the horse ticking over until then.

I gave Joey a week off and look forward to jumping him again this week. I will aim him at Friday’s Grand Prix and keep Splendor for Sunday’s 1m60 invitational. It will be nice to get home next Sunday and back to a little normality!

Check back next week for more news.

Not Much Sun, But We're Beaming!

  • Larkhill Cruiser in action at the Sunshine Tour

Hey everyone,

Just about to hit the hay after a tiring week on my second week of the Spanish Tour.

All of our horses are jumping very well and are all fresh and fit. We only jump them twice a week, that way they won't get tired and also for the most part this is a training tour. I'm very happy with Trebox Accorada who placed second in Friday's 1m40 two phase. Mark Kinsella was 2nd in the 1m40 speed on Friday also with the Irish bred gelding Waterboy, owned by Ahmed Tolba.

Ballymore Eustace is coming on well and will gain great experience here over the month. Splendor has only jumped once so far and that was today in the 1m45 two phase where he jumped a foot perfect double clear.

Larkhill Cruiser is pure class. He won a seriously hot class on Friday last, beating Robert Whitaker (3rd) and Roger Yves Bost (2nd). Today in the Grand Prix he again was clear and jumped it very easily I must say. We had a perfect jump off round where everything came off smoothly but unfortunately were pipped at the end by Guy Williams by 0.15 seconds - a hair’s breadth!!

Out of his four starts in the four ranking classes "Joey" won two and was second and third- exceptional results for any horse but he has been just amazing since arriving at Karlswood last December. I couldn't be happier.

I fly out of here tomorrow to try a few horses and return on Wednesday night. I will step Splendor up a gear next week to the Grand Prix and give Joey an easier weekend.

Check back next week for more news.

Larkhill - A Golden Goose!

  • Larkhill Cruiser competing in Sunday's Grand Prix

Hey everyone,

I'm writing to you from the house that we've leased for the duration of the Sunshine Tour in Zahara about 20 minutes from the show.

There are six of us staying here together and its great to have each other’s company and also having the house offers much more freedom than staying in the hotel as in previous years.

The showgrounds look amazing and the facilities are the best they've ever been. All our horses jumped super this weekend and Larkhill Cruiser did the business in the two main classes of the weekend.

Firstly he won the 1m45 two phase on Friday then came out on Sunday to jump double clear in the Grand Prix, finishing 3rd. He's quite simply the most consistent horse I've ever had.

Mark Kinsella was placed with Waterboy and he also had super rounds with Ozy Clover and Sebo. Denis Flannelly travelled with us and was clear each day with Atonement in the 1m40 division. Yana Melnikova from Russia is with us also and was placed in the Small Tour division with the Irish-bred Good Day Mate.

I'm riding a very nice six year old, Laroni, for some English people and he was clear each day in the 6yr old division. Three more weeks to go so let's hope it keeps going as well.

Check back next week for more news.

Best wishes,

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