Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News: 2012

Rounding off a successful competition at the Olympia

Cian topped off another successful tour at the London Olympia finishing a credible 2nd place with ISHD Dual Star in the 1m60 H&M Ivy Stakes on the penultimate day of the competition.

The 10 year old mare had only jumped 1.40m before, but Cian felt that her 3rd place in the speed class on Friday showed an upsurge of confidence. She jumped a double clear and was only 0.07 slower than the winner, to take 2nd prize.

Marc Houtzager from Holland took the honours in the World Cup with Tamino, while Ulano found the tight arena and electric atmosphere abit too much and was saved for another day.

Another win for Splendor in the Santa Stakes

Splendor has captured a second win for Cian in the 1.60m Santa Stakes at the London International Horse Show at the Olympia.

Cian rode second in the jump off, setting a fast pace that remained unbeaten by the remaining 5 riders, to claim the first prize of £5,000.

ISHD Dual Star also stepped up to the mark when jumping a fast clear round with ease in the 1m50 speed Christmas Tree Stakes, finishing in 3rd place behind Ben Maher and Marcus Ehning.

Splendor wins the Christmas Pudding Stakes at the Olympia

  • Splendor winning the Christmas Pudding Stakes at the Olympia

Cian, riding 13 year old gelding Splendor, claimed the big class of the night, the 1.50m Christmas Pudding Stakes at the Olympia.

One of only 7 horses in the jump off, Splendor posted a clear round and the fastest time, beating Britain's Tina Fletcher by 2.52 seconds.

Cian, who is Ireland’s only representative at the London venue, said: "I hadn't really planned on turning that tight back to the double but I got a rush of blood to the head and it came off! Splendor loves this arena and has won here previously so I was thrilled that we were able to win the feature 1.50m jump off class on the opening day."

Cian makes history in Croke Park

  • Cian makes history in Croke Park

Cian made history on Tuesday by bringing the first ever showjumping to Croke Park where he re-enacted his bronze medal win by jumping a replica of the iconic London bus fence from the 2012 Olympics.

The home of GAA welcomed Ireland's equestrians ahead of Horse Sport Ireland's 2012 Achievement Awards where Cian was honoured alongside the other members of the winning Aga Khan and Hickstead Nations Cup teams, Darragh Kerins, Richie Moloney, Clem McMahon and Shane Breen.

Cian, riding a new horse named Carlo, said: "It was really special to be the first show jumper to jump a fence in Croke Park."

"When you're in the preparations for the Olympics you're wired to the moon. So now it's starting to sink in and I'm able to reflect and look back on it, which is really special," he said. 

"Full credit to Horse Sport Ireland’s chief executive Damian McDonald and the Croke Park management for making it happen."

Watch the YouTube video »
Read about it in the Irish Examiner »

Blue Loyd has been sold

  • Blue Loyd in action at the London Olympics

The brilliant Blue Loyd who with Cian in the saddle made history this year by being the first Irish equestrian Olympic medal winner ever, has been sold.

Cian only began riding Blue Loyd last November and the pair quickly racked up impressive results in Wellington Florida, most notably a double clear for the Irish Team in the Nation's Cup. Clear rounds followed in the Nation's Cups at La Baule, Rotterdam and Aachen which turned out to be the perfect preparation for the London Games.

Blue Loyd’s new owner is Frank Stronach, the Austrian born billionaire businessman, who is extremely well known in racing circles and has been involved in breeding and racing horses for more than forty years.

O'Connor comments: "Mr Stronach, a genuine horse lover and equine enthusiast, was keen to buy Blue Loyd because of his excellent result at the Olympics and being a true horseman recognizes the horse's bravery and will to win. I wish his new rider the best of luck and I know they will be very successful."

Ideal Warm Up For London

Both Ulano and Dual Star (below) were consistently placed at the Christmas show in Stockholm, Sweden this weekend.

Dual Star, who has never competed outside Ireland before , really rose to the occasion, placing 6th and 7th in the opening two days and then finished third in the 1.40m final. Click here to watch the round.

Ulano was 6th in Friday’s main event and with an unlucky vertical in round one of the Grand Prix he finished 6th behind Swedish favourite Baryard-Johnsson, who took the honours.

Cian said: " Stockholm was a great event and really got myself and the horses sharper over the weekend which should set us up well for London in a few weeks time"

Cian wins all at Cavan!

Cian racked up an impressive tally of results at last weekend’s Cavan international show.

Riding Trebox Acorada (below) he was 4th, 2nd and 2nd in the three speed events. On Friday evening he produced an amazing performance with Ulano to finish just in front of Eddie Moloney- by .01 of a second which meant he won the class and also the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix league.

In the same class Cian was also 3rd with a new Irish Sport Horse mare Dual Star.

Again on Sunday night in the feature Cavan international Grand Prix he and Ulano were one of just two clear rounds in round one.

In the second round he had the advantage of going behind Rebecca McGoldrick of Canada and although she jumped a tidy clear Cian and Ulano matched it but a little quicker to take the class and the Leading Rider of the show award.

Cian said: "It has been a great show for me here at Cavan. I’m particularly pleased with Ulano who won two very good classes here in great style. It's my birthday tomorrow so these wins have been the perfect present!”

All to play for at Cavan

Cian takes four horses to the international show in Cavan this weekend - Ulano, Dual Star, Trebox Acorada and his young horse Sidney.

Friday night’s feature event at Cavan will also be the final leg of the Gain/Alltech Grand Prix series in which Cian is equal leader with Eddie Moloney.

Cian says: “I’m hoping of course that this last leg will win me the title, but I have a formidable opponent in Eddie. It could be a thrilling finale.”

Good Weekend in Caen

Cian and Karlswood rider Ross Mulholland enjoyed a good weekend at Caen in France.

Ross rode Da Vinci’s Pride (left) and finished up by winning Sunday’s 1m40 final. He also jumped Splendor, who was double clear in the Grand Prix qualifier and clear in the Grand Prix.

It was Blue Loyd's first show since Dublin, and he was in great form and full of beans. Jumped a super clear in the Grand Prix and had a rail down in the jump off to finish fourth.

Cian said afterwards "I was chuffed today for Ross to get an international win under his belt (click HERE for video) which is great, and Blue Loyd found his top form back on his debut appearance since the Dublin Horse Show.

"I gave him a nice break for eight weeks from shows and he jumped a super clear and finished 4th in the Grand Prix here. It sets him up well for my next indoor in Lyon in two weeks’ time which is a 5 star World Cup show.”

Off to Caen this weekend

This week Cian heads to the three star show in Caen, France along with Karlswood resident rider, Ross Mullholland.

Cian takes Blue Loyd (right) and Vanhoeve and Ross rides O’Connell Street and Davinci’s Pride. This show will act as a warm up for Cian’s upcoming World Cup outings at Lyon and Verona.

See Irish Examiner report HERE.
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