Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News: February, 2012

Cian second and fourth in world ranking class at Florida

There were over 68 starters in Sunday’s Suncast 1.50m jump off class. It was a Rolex world ranking class and worth $32,000.

Cian partnered both Everything, the 8yr old Toulon gelding and KEC Alligator Alley, by Aldatus x Clover Hill dam, to jump clear in the opening round.

There were just eight clears in the first round and Cian had two. Everything set a good pace and went into the lead mid way through the jump off when he gave a display of jumping and showed his class and quality when galloping to the last and giving it air.

KEC Alligator Alley was again clear but a bit slower and has been so consistent in the 1.50m division that he is in fact leading the 1.50 Suncast horse/ rider league title after five weeks.

Last to go was Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on the wonderful Checkmate who managed to shave a half second off Everything’s time to gallop to victory. Cian said “I always knew it was going to be hard to beat Checkmate with his level of experience. I'm delighted with how both horses jumped and any day you’re second to Meredith with one of her great horses, I suppose its not too bad!”

Meredith had high praise for Cian and Everything and said afterwards ""I watched Cian and he had a really super round with his nice young horse. He's a really fast rider, so I just tried to do my best. I have a lot of experience with Checkmate. He's 17 years old already. I've been riding him since he was six, so I think experience came into play. I could just shave a couple of tenths off his time I think."

More consistent places in Florida

Week 3 in Florida and Cian was consistently placed in all three big classes. Everything was clear and four and finished 8th in Thursday's feature WEF jump off class. They also had the last down in Saturday's 1.50m but with only one clear over Olaf Petersen's tricky course, they came fifth.

On Sunday in the Horseware Ireland Sponsored $50,000 Grand Prix, Blue Loyd (pictured right) delivered the goods once again when jumping two clear rounds and finishing just over a second off the eventual winner, to place fourth.

Cian said: “Blue Loyd has jumped three main classes here and has been double clear in each. Florida is a great training ground for later in the year and my goal for this circuit is to merely develop a successful partnership with him. I feel that all the horses are in good form and with a bit of luck over the coming weeks we will try to win a big one!”

Cian is leading the FTI Challenge leading rider standings in Florida after three weeks of the circuit for his consistency with his team of horses.

Cian leading The FTI Leading Rider Challenge in Florida

After four weeks of competitions Cian is heading the Leading Rider title sponsored by F.T.I Consulting.

If he can stay there until the final week he would stand to win $50k. Week four went well for Cian and his team. Alligator Alley (right) was 11th in the feature class on Thursday last, jumping clear and four. He went on to jump double clear in Sunday's 1.50 class.

Blue Loyd jumped an outstanding clear in the 80k Grand Prix and finished 6th when knocking the third last in the jump off.

This week is the fifth week of the circuit and biggest prize money so far. Cian will jump Ballymore Eustace, Blue Loyd, KEC Alligator Alley and Everything.

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