Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News: 2011

Cian packs up and heads for the sun

Cian has sent his top string to Wellington in Florida. The winter equestrian festival takes place for 12 shows starting January 11th and finishing April 1.

Check out Cian’s horses page to see his equine partners for the circuit.

Cian says: "It will be an ideal venue to build partnerships with some new horses and is a perfect training ground for my younger horses to develop to Grand Prix level. I’m very fortunate to have six fantastic horses to bring and am really looking forward to the trip."

Cian Receives Olympia Invite

Last week Cian got a pleasant surprise with what is almost an unprecedented move for London Olympia Show to send personal invitations.

Cian was thrilled that the show have asked him to attend and although it’s early days for him and Blue Loyd he feels that they are both ready for the challenge.

Cian said " I was thrilled to be invited by the organisers and I know that I’m the kind of rider who loves the extra pressure and a show like London a lot is always expected but i find that motivates me to go better."

Olympia has always been a happy hunting ground for Cian with international wins scored there aboard Complete, Rancorrado, Umberto and Splendor. He will be hoping for a big week in the final competition of 2011.

Cian Takes Delivery Of Blue Loyd

Cian yesterday took delivery of his new superstar, the 11 yr-old Landor S gelding Blue Loyd (left), formerly campaigned successfully by Norwegian rider Nina Braaten at Nations' Cups and World Cup classes throughout Europe as well as the European Championships in Madrid.

Cian has been watching Blue Loyd in action for some time and last week finally clinched the deal to buy him as the new lead horse in his international stable.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted with this horse, and I'm grateful to all those who helped make his purchase possible. Now I'm really looking forward to the season ahead with such a great string of horses in my stable."

Cian Heads Indoors To Hoys

Cian lines out in his first international indoor show of the season at Birmingham this week. The Horse of the Year show has for years been synonymous with great rivalry between the Irish and the British. It’s a really well run show with a lot of tv coverage on Sky Sports 2 and 4. Cian takes Goldex, Everything and Carpe Diem. Check back next week for more news.

Carpe Diem Shines At Barcelona

Cian and Carpe Diem had a great fifth-place finish in the five-star Barcelona Grand Prix in Spain on Friday.

Cian was one of just three competitors to go clear in the first round, but a single mistake on his second attempt left him behind Eric Lamaze from Canada and the mare Atlete Van T Heike, who achieved the only double clear round of the contest.

On Thursday, Cian had runner-up results in consecutive competitions, first with Ballymore Eustace (right) in the big two phase class, and then with Carpe Diem in the Grand Prix qualifier, beaten on both occasions by Italy's Emanuele Gaudiano.

Great Weekend At Gijon

Cian had several placings with his three horses at the CSIO5* Gijon over the past week. Ballymore Eustace was third and sixth in 1m45 classes. Splendor finished 8th in the Grand Prix, when having a single error in both rounds.

Carpe Diem (right) produced a major result when jumping clear in Sunday’s feature class, the Prince's Cup. He was fourth to go out of 14 in the jump off and set off at the gallop taking a very difficult turn inside a fence to the last, the pair looking set for victory.

Many tried but couldn't match their time until last man in Scott Brash from Great Britain pipped them by 0.312 secs to leave Cian in runner-up spot.

Cian said: “It was a great show for to get the hang of Carpe Diem. He's a lovely animal to work with- careful and scopey and as he proved today has a serious turn of foot.”

Team Karlswood Wipe The Boards At Millstreet

Millstreet proved a profitable week for Cian and his Karlswood riders. Mark Kinsella won the Accumulator with Rocco and Cian was runner up with Goldex. Deane Rogan partnered Captain Rossi to second place in the 4yr old final.

The prestigious Boomerang competition for 6 and 7 yr olds always looked like it was going to be Cian's as he was first and second in the qualifiers with Everything and then took the final in great style.

Cian's new mount Carpe Diem didn’t put a foot wrong all week when clear in the Grand Prix qualifier and then double clear in the Grand Prix to finish second.

Ballymore Eustace (right) was star of the show, however, when all the months spent schooling and training finally paid off. Cian thinks a lot of this horse and so has brought him along slowly. They jumped an immaculate double clear and pipped Cian's own time by .04 to claim the title.

Key Points Earned In Falsterbo

The Irish team finished a very creditable 5th at the Nations’ Cup in Falsterbo, giving the team key points at this stage in the series. After four legs and with four legs remaining the team currently lies second and looks certain to be able to avoid relegation this year.

“I was delighted with Splendor’s performance in the Nations’ Cup, with both his scores counting with a fence down each time. This is his first time at this level and I really feel that he will come on from this,” said Cian.

Cian also won a 7 yr old class with the Toulon gelding Everything.

Cian Finishes Second In Swedish Derby Qualifier

Cian and Splendor have been selected by Chef d'Equipe Robert Splaine to jump last in the Swedish Nations' Cup at Falsterbo on Friday. This will be the midway point of the Superleague series, and Ireland currently lies second of eight nations.

This afternoon Cian and his new ride Phin Phin's Shooting Star took second place in the Derby Qualifier at Falsterbo, a really great result for the combination on their first big international outing together.

Ukranian Team Purchases Cian's Top Horses

The Ukrainian show jumping team has purchased both K Club Lady and Temple Road, to help them on their way to success at the London Olympics.

K Club Lady (top right) has been a wonderful horse since Cian got her last April, jumping on the Irish teams at Rome, St Gallen, Aachen, Dublin and WEG. The pair were also 2nd in the 5 star Grand Prix at St Gallen and jumped that all-important double clear in Aachen to help the team clinch victory.

Temple Road has been produced on Cian’s behalf by Cian’s friend Shane Carey in Denmark and in Cian’s first show with the horse last month they were 2nd in the Grand Prix at Pforzheim Germany.

Cian said: “ I will miss these two top class horses greatly but on the other hand it’s always good to sell. What I’m really pleased about is that these are horses that I selected and I brought in investors to help me secure them. Subsequently both horses have had great success and have yielded a great return for all involved.

“In the absence of a top class sponsor the top end of show jumping is very much about balancing the sport and the economics - now I must look for my next superstar!”

Temple Road has gone to his new owners and Cian will compete K Club Lady for the next few weeks as the new owners decided that Cian is best placed to get her back to top class show jumping.

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