Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

Cian's Blog: September, 2011

Barcelona - One Of The Greatest!

  • The Real Club de Polo as seen from the air

Hey, everyone.

I forgot just how good this historic show is, set in the middle of Barcelona city in the beautiful Real Polo Club.

Both my horses were in great form and earned their keep. Ballymore Eustace was second and sixth in the middle classes and Carpe Diem was second in the Grand Prix qualifier and fifth in the Grand Prix. Im so happy how he’s developing as it was still only our third show together.

The main topic of conversation over there from my international peers was how devastating it is that Ireland didn't qualify for London. It’s a topic I have tried hard to keep my opinions to myself on as I don’t feel it is helpful to the sport to add fuel to the fire.

However, when one comes home to hear and read the tripe and spin, from even some of the riders, it really sickens me. Head down for the moment but at some stage it may be necessary to lay out the facts to put an end to the gross inaccuracy and misinformation that is being thrown about presently.

Im so excited to be going away tomorrow for a week’s holidays away from horses. Im sure after two days I’ll be itching to get back but it’s nice to re- charge the batteries now and again!!

On my return I travel to the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham and I will keep you posted how that goes

Best wishes,

Madrid - A Real Shame

It was a great shame that Ireland were unable to qualify last week in Madrid for the London Olympics.

We must take a serious look at ourselves and figure out a way to work towards achieving medals at championships. Ireland has several riders in the top 100 in the world ranking and individually our results are superlative, this has not however made us a team that other nations fear.

Ireland will possibly have two individual slots at the London games and I would welcome clear and transparent rules in place that gives everyone with a potential Olympic horse the chance to qualify, as opposed to the positions going to the people with the highest world ranking, i.e., the people with the most horses who do the most shows.

This Wednesday I fly to Barcelona where I compete with Carpe Diem and Ballymore Eustace.

Check back over the weekend to see how we got on.


Gijon - A Class Show

  • Carpe Diem in action at Gijon

Hey everyone, I’m writing this in Madrid airport on my way home from Gijon. It was a super show as always and without doubt one of my favourites.

The facilities were excellent, the packed crowds who love their gambling created a wonderful atmosphere and the artistic fences designed by resident course designer Avelino Rodriguez Miravalles rounded off the perfect spectacle.

My horses all jumped great. Ballymore Eustace has really developed this summer and was clear all three days in 1m45 classes and placed third and sixth. Splendor was unlucky in the Grand Prix qualifier, having the fastest time but sadly lowering the second last. He went on to finish eighth in the Grand Prix, having a fence down in both rounds but jumped well and will be ready for Madrid should anything happen to anyone else and if we should be required.

Carpe Diem jumped outstanding all week. I aimed him at the main class on Sunday where he jumped a double clear in classy style. He's an exciting animal who I’m really looking forward to big things from.

Back to Karlswood for the week and help my team get organised for Cavan which start next Tuesday. My horses have two weeks break ahead of Barcelona.

Best wishes,

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