Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News: April, 2012

Da Vinci makes it a hat trick!

Da Vinci’s Pride (below), who won the Mullingar and Coilog legs of the HSI Bluegrass Spring Tour, made it a hat trick of wins for Cian in just three weeks.

He was drawn last to go in the opening leg of the TRM National Grand Prix series last Saturday and cruised home a second faster than his nearest rival, the very talented young rider, Michael Duffy.

Cian said afterwards: “Da Vinci’s Pride is just getting better and better. Today everything fell my way. Blue Loyd and KEC Alligator Alley both jumped clear rounds but with a long season in mind iI didn’t put them in the jump off so when Da Vinci’s Pride was clear I knew I had a real chance.”

Cian travels to Le Touquet in France this week with all three horses ahead of the CSIO at La Baule the week after.

Cian wins the final leg of an exciting league

Over 70 starters lined out for the final leg of the HSI Bluegrass spring tour in Coilog on Sunday.

The league had been tightly battled all along by talented Derry young rider Daniel Coyle and the experienced John Floody. Daniel was ahead coming into the final but didn’t jump clear on any of his horses in the final leg.

John was clear with one so Daniel had to sit it out and watch. Unfortunately for John he knocked the first fence in the jump off and Daniel breathed a scream of relief- it was a great finish to an exciting league and Daniel a worthy winner.

Cian was clear with both Coral Springs and Da Vinci’s Pride. Second last to go in the jump off, Da Vinci’s Pride (left) shaved over a second off the leader and when last horse in and a fence down, Da Vinci’s Pride added another victory to his tally.

Cian said afterwards "I’m thrilled with Da Vinci’s Pride - he’s so consistent. He’s had three starts in this league and has recorded two wins and a second. Full marks to the Riders’ Club, HSI and Bluegrass Feeds for making this league happen. It’s a great stepping stone to bigger Grands Prix and gives everyone a chance to step up to the mark".

Good finish to great circuit

KEC Alligator Alley (right) finished up on Sunday in Wellington placing 6th when jumping clear but incurring one time fault in the first round.

Cian says "Alley has been one of the most consistent horses of the circuit. He has jumped more clear rounds than most and we finished 3rd in the 1.50m league. It has been great mileage for him at this level and he has earned his Spring break!".

Blue Loyd jumped outstanding in the final 500k Grand Prix which was built by Alan Wade, Ireland’s international course designer. There were only three clears from 45 starters and incidentally no double clears as all three in the second round had one down. 

Cian and Blue Loyd looked set to be clear when coming down the final line of three fences. Jumping the massive black oxer and then the flimsy planks the crowd got ready to cheer only to see a late falling front rail off the final oxer to incur four faults for the pair.

Cian said" To have the last was a real sickener especially after getting all the hard stuff out of the way. I always take the positive out of each situation and I couldn't be happier with how Loyd is going. This trip was always focused on developing a partnership with him and the two classes I aimed him at at start of circuit he excelled in both, i.e., the Nations’ Cup where he was double clear and the last night finale which he jumped outstanding.“

Great weekend on two new mounts

Cian acquired two new horses this week (click here to read more) and they both jumped superbly over the weekend.

Da Vinci’s Pride, who is by an Australian thoroughbred won the Mullingar leg of the HSI Bluegrass Spring Tour Grand Prix. See video here. The following day at Ennis Cian and Da Vinci’s Pride were runners up.

Coral Springs (right), the exciting new 8yr old Irish bred gelding was clear and four in Mullingar and jumped two fantastic rounds in Sunday's Grand prix at Ennis to finish 4th.

Cian said afterwards: “I’m thrilled with both horses. This league is a great introduction for bigger classes and allows me the chance to get to know the horses. Da Vinci’s Pride is really competitive and I'm looking forward to bringing him with me to some international shows in May.

“Coral Springs is another one of those Irish horses who has been produced quietly in the background. He's a class jumper and I’m hopeful that he will follow in the footsteps of his countrymen - Larkhill Cruiser and KEC Alligator Alley - whom I’ve had considerable success with. People will say there are no Irish horses around but I’ve found three in 12 months who can all jump Grands Prix!!"
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