Cian took an impressive second place in the big Million Dollar Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida tonight (Sunday), pocketing 200,000 dollars for his efforts.
The Meath-based Olympic bronze medallist rode his top string horse, the ten year-old stallion Good Luck, and produced two faultless rounds that had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats. Jumping against a 40-strong top international field, O'Connor produced one of only three double clear rounds achieved in the competition, but was just off the pace of eventual winner, Colombia's Roberto Teran and Oklahoma.
Afterwards O'Connor said: "I'm thrilled to have finished second here tonight. I've been aiming at this big class since January. I've been campaigning Good Luck very lightly since he arrived in Florida last November, as I want him to peak later in the summer.
"He's jumped in just three major Grands Prix since the beginning of the year, and has been clear in all of them, but today's double clear round produced the biggest cheque of all."...
The fresh face is 23-year-old, American rider Emily Short.
Still an amateur, the native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania graduated from Denison University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature in May 2015. The following summer, Short decided to further her riding career and joined her trainer, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, in Europe to compete.
Check out the full story here.
Cian produced a brilliant double-clear round on Sam du Challois to give Ireland victory in last night's (Friday) Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida.
Ireland were level with hosts USA at halfway on zero faults after clears by O'Connor, Conor Swail (Martha Louise) and Shane Sweetnam (Buckle Up).
Swail and Sweetnam then had four faults each in the second round, but Richie Moloney (Carrabis Z) added a clear, before O'Connor finished the job with another faultless round to leave Ireland on a total score of four faults, with the USA in second on eight faults....
CIAN O'Connor will be part of the irish team that lines out tonight (Friday) for the $150,000 Nations' Cup competition at Wellington in Florida.
The Meath-based rider will be piloting a horse he bought in Paris just last November, the ten year-old Sam du Challois. The pair will make up the anchor leg for Ireland, being last of the four-man team to jump.
O'Connor, who was Ireland's Olympic Bronze medallist at London, said from Wellington today: "The horse was spotted by my friend Abdel Said last year, and at the time had only competed nationally in France. I had a look, and thought he showed tremendous potential, so Sam, as we call him, is now on the Karlswood Stables roster. He made his team debut at Ocala in Florida just last month, and delivered a terrific clear second round. I believe he's a good prospect for the future."
O'Connor will be joined at tonight's Nations' Cup by fellow Irish riders Conor Swail (Martha Louise), Shane Sweetnam (Buckle Up) and Richie Moloney (Carrabis Z). Ireland is drawn third to jump of seven teams competing, and will be hoping to challenge the United States team, who took the trophy at Wellington last year. The competition starts at midnight Irish time.