Cian O'Connor
Olympic Bronze Medallist

News: 2015

Cian and new mount Crespo, clinch Belgian qualifier

Cian and a new mount Crespo, winning the Grand Prix qualifier at Sentower Park in Belgium.
Well done to former Karlswood rider Jack Dodd who finished just behind in 2nd.

Good Placings in Doha

  • Good Luck jumping clear in 1.55m class at GCT Doha

Cian recorded good results with both Super Sox and Good Luck at the Global Tour final in Doha last weekend.

Super Sox was 3rd in the opening 1.45m two-phase and finished 5th in a very fast 1.50m speed class on Saturday. Good Luck was clear in Thursday’s feature 1.55m and with an unlucky rail down 3 from home in the feature grand prix on Saturday, the pair were kept out of contention.

Cian said afterwards, “I’m thrilled with both horses. It would have been nice to be clear in the grand prix but I’m just so happy with how good luck has developed this year. Super Sox, whom I only ride occasionally, as he’s ridden by one of my pupils, really tried his heart out and gave a great account of himself”.

"No let-up for O’Connor"

  • Good Luck performing recently in the 2015 European Championship, AachenPhoto: Sportfoto

With Captain Michael Kelly joining the Karlswood Team here in Meath, Cian took the opportunity to draw out his plans for the year ahead.

Michael will assist in expanding the business by coaching clients and sourcing new horses. John Tynan quotes Cian, saying, "We have three clients from North America at present and, with the addition of Michael to the team, I will be in a position to take on more. He is trustworthy, dedicated and a bit like me in that he’s a workaholic, plus, he’s very genuine and a good coach."

"Sourcing horses for clients is a big part of our business, but I like to think that it’s the after-sales service that sets us apart: We coach and plan clients’ careers, it’s a complete package."

Cian is currently helping Nikki Walker prepare for the Canadian championships in advance of the World Cup in Toronto. Nikki's grandfather is Frank Stronach, owner of Cian's number one horse, Good Luck. An exciting new nine year old stallion, Sam du Challois, has also been purchased.

"He will be used as back up for Good Luck, while increasing his value, plus he will help me in my plan to be in the top 30 in the world rankings by April."

Cian is still seeking another horse, either to compete for an owner or to purchase for himself.

Meanwhile, Good Luck has had a good break since the Furusiyya Series final in Barcelona and will fly with Cian from Canada to the final of the Longines Global Champions Tour in Doha in two weeks' time. This will be Cian's first time at the final so he is super excited. Super Sox will be his second horse.

The horses will then fly out to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida where they must undergo 35 days' quarantine which will serve as their winter break. John Tynan writes that Cian will more than likely use Good Luck for only four grands prix in Florida, as his main focus will be on getting to the Rio Olympics next year.

"Obviously, we have to go through the appeal process, but that doesn’t stop me from planning, you just never know what will happen. Anyway, I think we will win the case. The ultimate goal is to have an Irish team at Rio."

Read the full article in the Irish Examiner:
No let-up for O’Connor

Michael Kelly Joins Karlswood Stables

Captain Michael Kelly has departed the Irish Army Equitation School and will now take up a major role at Cian O’Connor’s Karlswood Stables.

Michael Kelly joined the army in 2001 and started his equestrian career in the Equitation School in 2003, and has gone on to gain notable international show jumping success in the last 12 years.

He says, "I have been extremely privileged to wear the uniform of the Army Equitation School. I was given the opportunity to compete both nationally and internationally to the highest level by the school and I will always be grateful for that opportunity."

Michael now takes up a role at Karlswood Stables, working with Olympic Bronze Medallist Cian O’Connor.

"This is an exciting move as I will be working with an extremely professional and motivated group of people and the aim is to promote Karlswood and enhance its global status"

Cian O’Connor commented, "I am delighted to welcome Michael into our Karlswood Team. Our core business is coaching and developing riders, helping them manage and plan their careers and sourcing horses to match their needs. Michael will be key in enabling us to continue to provide an unparalleled level of service to our customers and his expertise will allow us the opportunity to expand the business and open new markets."

Ireland wins Aga Khan Trophy at Nations Cup, Dublin

Darragh Kenny, Bertram Allen, Greg Broderick and Cian O’Connor are the winners of the Aga Khan trophy that goes along with the Nations Cup at Dublin in the €200,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup held earlier this month. This trophy was last won by Ireland in 2012.

The Irish collected a cheque for €64,000 after finishing on a total score of four penalties, ahead of the Netherlands on eight penalties. They have also qualified for the Barcelona Furusiyya Nations Cup final of the European Division 1 league final in September.  3rd place went to Team Switzerland, with Germany 4th and Spain coming in 5th.

20-year-old FEI ranked World No. 5 Bertram Allen, made his first appearance on a senior Nations Cup team on the 17-year-old KWPN gelding Romanov. He was the first to jump and tipped a vertical, but he crossed the timers with zero faults in Round 2.

It was Cian’s 100th cap for Ireland and his third Nations Cup triumph. He was the veteran of the group and today he was aboard 9-year-old Good Luck, a Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Adena Springs. He had a fence in hand. Good Luck knocked a fence, but horse and rider kept their nerve.

Newcomer Broderick delivered two clear rounds with the Irish-bred 9-year-old MHS Going Global. “He’s not afraid of big occasions or big rings,” Broderick said.

Ireland was in the lead after round one with a zero score. They held their act together and finished the day on four faults without even needing their fourth rider, Kenny, to jump in Round 2. The watching crowd were hysterical with joy.

Last year’s winners of the Aga Khan, Team USA, achieved a dismal score of 32 faults and landed them in an unusual last place.

Team Great Britain was another favourite but they had numerous small problems across the track.

Several of the horses balked and refused to complete the turn away from the ingate toward fence 6, with The Netherlands’ Vignet stopping in a rearing fit but rider Johnny Pals managed to calm him and continued to finish the course without jumping faults. Switzerland’s Guerdat and Corbinian faced a similar situation in Round 2.

“I think that sometimes horses give a big effort in that arena in the first round, and then they go back and they say ‘well I’m not going down there again’,” Cian explained. “What a day!! This is what justifies all the work and effort that all the riders and their vital background teams put in! It was a very special day to be part of the winning Team in Dublin on my 100th Cap. What a great bunch of lads to ride alongside and for the first time in a long time there is a great sense of want and desire to win in the Team and I believe this is something we can build on towards next year's Olympics!  I feel so lucky to have what I feel are the most incredible staff at Karlswood and an amazing back ground team of people who help make days like today possible. Thanks so much to you all and of course my amazing horse Good Luck and to his owners at Adena Springs!” 

The 2015 European Championships is coming up later this month at Aachen, where Ireland hope to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics and push for a medal as well.

Cian joins Team Ireland for the 2015 Aga Khan Trophy

  • Team IrelandWinners of the Aga Khan in 2012

Team Ireland manager Robert Splaine has announced the team for the 2015 Aga Khan trophy, which will compete against the world's best on 7 August at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show. The Irish squad comprises:

  • Bertram Allen with Romanov
  • Greg Broderick with Going Global (ISH)
  • Darragh Kenny with Sans Soucis Z
  • Cian O’ Connor with Good Luck
  • Conor Swail with Grand Cru VD Vijf Eiken

Cian brings Adena Springs’s Good Luck and was pleased to participate once more in this prestigious event, saying "I'm delighted to have been selected for the Dublin squad. We need a big result here and I'm hopeful I can give a positive contribution".

Good Luck earns experience in La Baule

  • Good Luck clears the last
  • Cian on Good Luck
  • Good Luck making this 1.60m vertical look small
  • A well-deserved pat for Good Luck
  • Third place finish for Team Ireland
  • Aramis finished 2nd in the 1.45m jump-off class
  • Quidam Cherie - 2nd in the 1.50m jump-off
It was a great weekend at the five-star French Nations’ Cup in La Baule, France, with all the horses jumping well.

On Friday, Cian took Good Luck, a nine year old gelding, through his paces on the five star track. This was Good Luck’s first time at a Nations’ Cup. Cian was the first rider of 32 and on the first round had eight jumping faults and one time fault. He delivered a clear second round, which, together with clear rounds from Bertram Allen and Greg Broderick, saw Ireland achieving third place. Cian said Good Luck had learned a lot from this experience, which would stand him in good stead for his next big outing.

Aramis, Cian’s 8 year old stallion, finished 2nd in the 1.45m jump-off class (behind a very fast Bertram Allen).

Saturday saw Cian, on Quidam Cherie, coming a very close 2nd in the 1.50m jump-off in the feature class, with a double clear round in the 13 horse jump-off. This was just .07 of a second behind Patrice Delaveau for France.

Aramis was in the placings again on Sunday. He finished 5th in a very competitive 1.45m jump-off class, where the top 5 were in the same second!

This weekend Cian is on his way to a two star show in Sentower Park, Belgium, to coach Nikki, while the 3 horses will have a well deserved rest.

Cian Wins World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix at Live Oak

Cian & Good Luck won the $50,000 CSI 2*-W Live Oak International Grand Prix on Saturday, March 21, at the 2015 Live Oak International with this jump off round.

Team Karlswood in Florida

Cian and Karlswood Stables are currently competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida.
Follow their progress here and on Facebook and support the sponsors who make it possible!

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