Cian O'Connor

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Cian O'Connor
Hessischen Ministerpräsidenten Cyan O'Connor with Cooper 2013.jpg
Personal information
Full nameCian O'Connor
Nationality Ireland
DisciplineShow jumping
Born (1979-11-12) 12 November 1979 (age 39)
Dublin, Ireland
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight163 lb (74 kg; 11 st 9 lb)
Wiesbaden 2013

Cián O'Connor (born 12 November 1979) is an Irish equestrian who competes in show jumping. He currently ranks forty-ninth for the FEI Rolex Ranking List.[1] He won a bronze medal at the London Olympic games 2012. He was also a member of the Irish Nations Cup team, which won the Aga Khan Trophy at the Dublin Horse show 2012. He was a late nomination to the Irish Team for the London Olympics and got a late call to jump the final two rounds in the individual competition, after one horse failed a routine veterinary inspection on the morning of the competition.

O'Connor is a regular member of the Irish Nations Cup team, with ninety appearances to date. He won the gold medal in individual jumping at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens,[2] but his award was later revoked after the sports ruling body found banned substances in its system during the games. He was found guilty of doping however the FEI said it was satisfied that Cian O'Connor was not involved in a deliberate attempt to influence the performance of the horse.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

O'Connor was born in Dublin to parents Tadgh and Louise O'Connor. His maternal grandfather is the former Irish rugby international Karl Mullen. He is godson to businessman Tony O'Reilly.[5] He was educated at Belvedere College, Dublin. His sister Pippa O'Connor is a successful model.[6]

Cian O'Connor married Ruth Maybin on 31 December 2011 at Clongowes Wood College, Clane, County Kildare. They live in County Meath, Ireland.[7] Cian O'Connor trains horses at his stables, Karlswood, also in County Meath, Ireland. He trains young and upcoming riders at the stables, where he also trades in all classes of show jumpers.

Rolex world ranking[edit]

O'Connor reached his highest world ranking of 29th in the June 2011 rankings (No. 125).

He reached the second-highest Irish ranked rider in May 2009 (No. 101) where he was ranked 35th.

O'Connor's current world ranking (as of 30 June 2016) is 49 - Ireland's number 4.[8]

Notable horses[edit]

Waterford Crystal (*1991), Bay, Gelding, Father - Landgraf

Winner of 8 Nations Cups and the horse that was involved in the controversy of the 2004 Olympic Games where O'Connor lost the Gold medal after an infringement, which the FEI, in its 2005 decision, deemed not to be deliberate.

Irish Independent Casper (*1992), Grey, Gelding, Father - Cantus

A very versatile horse that won the Puissance at the 'Kerrygold' Dublin Horse show - clearing 7'5". The pair also jumped clear rounds in Nation Cups and in Grands Prix.

Irish Independent Echo Beach (*1997), Chestnut, Mare, Father - Clover Echo, Mother's Father - Cavalier Royale

Winner of many International Classes including the Nations Cup of Lummen, Belgium in 2007, and the World Cup Qualifier in Tripoli, Libya in 2009.

Complete (*1997), Chestnut, Gelding, Father - Comeback II, Owner - Castlemartin Stud

Jumped clear on many Nations Cup teams and Grands Prix all over the world. Finished second in the Grand Prix at the 5* Geneva in 2008. He was also selected as the Irish Reserve for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Splendor (*1999), Chestnut, Gelding, Father - Lester, Owner - Cian and Stephen O'Connor, and then Ahmed Tolba

Many international wins, and placings in Grands Prix and Nations Cups, including finishing 3rd in the Grand Prix of the 4* La Coruna in 2009.

Rancorrado (*1998), Dark Bay, Gelding, Father - Gran Corrado, Owner - Aileen Bryan

Winner of 3 International Grands Prix - CSI4* Lyon 2008, CSI5*-W London 2009, CSI4* Basel 2010. The pair have also been placed on Nations Cup teams all over the world, and in World Cup qualifiers.

K Club Lady (*1999), Bay, Mare, Father - Calido I, Owner - Ashkirk Ltd.

Winner of the Nations Cup of Aachen 2010. She also finished second in the Grand Prix at the 5* St. Gallen

Larkhill Cruiser (*2001), Chestnur, Gelding, Father - Cruising, Mother's Father - Crosstown Dancer, Owner - Cian O'Connor

In their short time together from late November 2010 until May 2011, Cian and Larkhill Cruiser had been on the winning team of the CSIO5* La Baule FEI Nations Cup in 2011, been placed in 4 Grands Prix, won world-ranking classes, and earned €98,000 in prize money.

Jumping career[edit]

2004 Summer Olympics[edit]

Riding his horse, Waterford Crystal, he became an instant national hero, being the only Irish medalist that year. However, on 8 October 2004, it emerged that Waterford Crystal had tested positive for a prohibited substance.

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) ruled that O'Connor must be stripped of his medal and he also received a three-month ban from competition. FEI found that he did not deliberately attempt to affect the performance of the horse. The individual show-jumping gold medal went to Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa and the Irish team's seventh place was inherited by the Italians.


In December, O'Connor was invited to jump at Olympia, London, finishing, on Rancorrado, 2nd in the World Cup Qualifier, his highest placing in a Qualifier to date. The next night he won the Grand Prix, and this in turn secured him the Leading Rider of the Show.[citation needed]


CSI4* Basel, Switzerland: Grand Prix: 1st (Rancorrado)

CSI3* Lummen, Belgium: Grand Prix: 3rd (K Club Lady)

CSI3* Hagen, Germany: Grand Prix: 8th (K Club Lady)

CSI5* Global Champions Tour, Valencia, Spain: 1m50 class: 4th (K Club Lady) - €1,600 - just 1.65 seconds behind the winner.

CSIO5* Rome, Italy: Meydan FEI Nations Cup: 3rd on 12 faults: Cameron Hanley (Southwind VDL) - (8)/4; Darragh Kenny (Obelix) - 4/(8); Cian O'Connor (K Club Lady) - 4/0; Billy Twomey (Tinka's Serenade) - 0/4

CSIO5* St. Gallen, Switzerland: Grand Prix: 2nd (K Club Lady) - €60,000

Meydan FEI Nations Cup: 4th on 19 faults: Shane Breen (Carmena Z) 5/5; Darragh Kenny (Obelix) 5/(16); Cian O'Connor (K Club Lady) 9/4; Billy Twomey (Je T'aime Flamenco) (9)/0

CSI5* Global Champions Tour, Estoril, Portugal: Grand Prix: 8th (K Club Lady) - €6,000

CSIO5* World Equestrian Festival, Aachen, Germany: Meydan FEI Nations Cup: 1st on 4 faults: Billy Twomey ( Tinka's Serenade) 4/0; Dermott Lennon (Hallmark Elite) 0/0; Cian O'Connor (K Club Lady) 0/0; Denis Lynch (Lantinus) (4)/(NS)

Yageo Prize: 3rd (Splendor)

CSIO5* 'Failte Ireland' Dublin Horse Show, Dublin, Ireland: Meydan FEI Nations Cup: 2nd= on 20 faults: Billy Twomey (Tinka's Serenade) 0/4; Dermott Lennon (Hallmark Elite) (12)/(8); Cian O'Connor (K Club Lady) 8/0; Denis Lynch (Nabab's Son) 8/0 - leaving the team in 4th on the final standings.

'Land Rover' Puissance: 2nd= (Noctambule Courcelle) - clearing 2m10 - €9,850

CSIO5* Gijon, Spain: Grand Prix: 6th (K Club Lady) - €5,000

Meydan FEI Nations Cup: 5th= on 20 faults: Shane Breen (Carmena Z) (8)/0; Capt. David O'Brien (Mo Chroi) 0/(8); Cian O'Connor (Splendor) 8/0; Dermott Lennon (Hallmark Elite) 4/8

CSI5* Madrid, Spain: Grand Prix: 5th (K Club Lady) - €9,000

Puissance: 2nd (Noctambule Courcelle) - €6,000

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Jumping World Championships, Kentucky: Team: Dermott Lennon (Hallmark Elite); Denis Lynch (Lantinus); Cian O’Connor (K Club Lady); Billy Twomey (Tinka’s Serenade)

1st Round - Speed Competition: 12th on 2.88 faults; Team in 8th

2nd Round - First round of the Nations Cup: 16th on a total of 6.88 faults

K Club Lady picked up a knock during this round, and O'Connor withdrew from continuing the Championships as an individual.

CSI4* Caen, France: 1m50 jump-off class: 3rd (Splendor) - earning €3,750

CSI5*-W Verona, Italy: Grand Prix: 10th (Splendor) - earning €1,500.

CSI3* Stockholm, Sweden: Grand Prix: 5th (Splendor) - earning €2,500.

CSI5*-W Geneva, Switzerland: Rolex FEI World Cup qualifier: 11th (Splendor) - €3,000

Geneva Derby: 1st (Umberto)

'Credit Suisse' Team Competition - Switzerland vs Europe vs America vs Rest of the World: 1st - Europe II (Larkhill Cruiser) - €3,000

Puissance: =3rd: (Asturias) - €1,500

CSI5*-W London Olympia, United Kingdom: Santa Stakes - 1m60 jump-off class: 1st (Splendor) - €6,480


CSI3*-W Dubai Championships, UAE: FEI World Cup Qualifier: 5th (Larkhill Cruiser) - €3,100

'Gulf News' Dubai Cup (Qualifier for the Grand Prix): 1st (Larkhill Cruiser) - €6,700

Accumulator: 1st (Arabella) - €4,200

O'Connor also earned the 'Leading Rider of the Show' award - €2,100

CSI3*-W Abu Dhabi, UAE: FEI World Cup Qualifier: 6th (Larkhill Cruiser) - €2,500

1m45 Two-Phase Competition: 3rd (Arabella) - €2,600

1m45 Jump-off: 4th (Arabella) - €2,900

1m40 Grand Prix Qualifier: 3rd (Larkhill Cruiser) - €3,200

CSI2*-W Sharjah, UAE: FEI World Cup Qualifier: 3rd (Larkhill Cruiser)

CSI4*-W Al Ain, UAE: FEI World Cup qualifier: 2nd (Larkhill Cruiser) - €11,800

Grand Prix qualifier: 3rd (Larkhill Cruiser) - €5,200

O'Connor also earned the 'Leading Rider of the Show' award

He and Larkhill Cruiser also secured the Leading Horse and Leading Rider Awards of the UAE World Cup Qualifying Tour.

CSI3* Vejer de la Frontera, Spain: Grand Prix (week 2): 3rd (Larkhill Cruiser) - €6,000

Grand Prix (week 3): 2nd (Larkhill Cruiser) - €4,500

Grand Prix (week 4): 3rd (Splendor) - €3,500

Grand Prix (week 5): 5th (Larkhill Cruiser) - €1,800

1m45 two-phase (week 2): 1st (Larkhill Cruiser) - €6,900

1m45 (week 3): 1st (Larkhill Cruiser) - €6,900

CSIO5* La Baule, France: FEI Nations Cup: 1st on 13 faults: Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto Darco) 1/4; Billy Twomey (Romanov) 4/4; Cian O'Connor (Larkhill Cruiser) (4)/0; Cameron Hanley (Southwind VDL) 0/(17) - Team earned €64,000

CSI3* Pforzheim, Germany: Grand Prix: 2nd (Temple Road) - €13,000

CSIO5* Rome, Italy: Puissance: 2nd (On Ira) - €4,000

1m50 jump-off: 4th (Temple Road) - €1,995

1m50 jump-off: 5th (Splendor) - €1,610

CSIO5* 'Discover Ireland' RDS Dublin Horse Show, Ireland: 'Power and Speed': 5th (Splendor) - €1,750

'Land Rover' Puissance: =2nd (On Ira) - €3,766

CSIO5* Gijon, Spain: Grand Prix: 8th (Splendor) - €3,000

1m50 jump-off: 2nd (Carpe Diem) - €8,500

CSIO5* Barcelona, Spain: 'Seat' Grand Prix: 5th (Carpe Diem) - €9,000

CSI3* Horse of the Year Show, Birmingham, UK: 'Vinopolis' Speed Horse of the Year: 3rd (Goldex) - €3,600

CSI5*-W Helsinki, Finland: 1m50 'Porsche International Classic': 5th (Carpe Diem) - €2,500

1m40 'Power and Speed': 7th (Goldex) - €1,000

CSI4* Salzburg, Austria: 1m50 against the clock: 7th (O'Connell Street) - €1,300

CSI4* Porto, Portugal: 1m45 jump-off: 5th (Blue Loyd) - €1,667


Week 1 WEF Wellington, Florida: $30,000 'Surpass' Grand Prix: 3rd (Blue Loyd) - $3,900 (€3,079)

$25,000 'Suncast' 1m50 Championship: 4th (Everything) - $2,000 (€1,579)

Week 2 WEF CSI2* Wellington, Florida: $32,000 WEF Challenge II: 3rd (Blue Loyd) - $4,800 (€3,710)

$50,000 Grand Prix: 7th (Everything) - $1,500 (€1,160)

Week 3 WEF CSI2* Wellington, Florida: $50,000 'Horseware Ireland' Grand Prix: 4th (Blue Loyd) - $5,000 (€3,795)

$25,000 'Suncast' 1m50 Championship: 5th (Everything) - $1,500 (€1,138)

Week 4 WEF CSI2* Wellington, Florida: $80,000 Grand Prix: 6th (Blue Loyd) - $3,600 (€2,718)

$25,000 'Suncast' 1m50 Championship: 5th (KEC Alligator Alley) - $1,500 (€1,132)

Week 5 WEF CSI3*-W Wellington, Florida: $32,000 Suncast 1m50 Championship: 2nd (Everything) - $6,400 (€4,834); 4th (KEC Alligator Alley) - $3,200 (€2,417)

Week 8 WEF CSIO4* Wellington, Florida: $75,000 Nations Cup: 2nd (Shane Sweetnam / Amaretto d'Arco [0/4]; Richie Moloney / Slievenorra [4/0]; Darragh Kerins / Lisona [4/4]; Cian O'Connor / Blue Loyd [0/0])

$32,000 1m45: 3rd (KEC Alligator Alley) - $4,800 (€4,365)

Week 10 WEF CSI3* Wellington, Florida: $80,000 Grand Prix: 2nd (KEC Alligator Alley) - $16,000 (€12,116)

Week 11 WEF Wellington, Florida: $25,000 Suncast 1m50: 3rd (KEC Alligator Alley) - $3,250 (€2,451)

Week 12 WEF Wellington, Florida: $500,000 Grand Prix: 7th (Blue Loyd) - $15,000 (€11,258)

$32,000 Suncast 1m50: 6th (KEC Alligator Alley) - $1,440 (€1,080)

CSIO5* La Baule, France: FEI Nations Cup: Ireland =5th (Blue Loyd)

1m45-1m50: 4th (Da Vinci's Pride) - €2,300

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

Won the bronze medal with his horse Blue Loyd 12 in individual jumping. He lost to Gerco Schröder of the Netherlands in a silver medal jump-off.[9]

Major results[edit]

  • 2012
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI3* Wellington, Florida (KEC Alligator Alley)
    • 2nd, FEI Nations Cup - CSIO4* Wellington, Florida (Blue Loyd)
  • 2011
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI3* Pforzheim, Germany (Temple Road)
    • 1st, FEI Nations Cup - CSIO5* La Baule, France (Larkhill Cruiser)
    • 3rd, Grand Prix - CSI3*, Week 4 Vejer de la Frontera, Spain (Splendor)
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI3*, Week 3 Vejer de la Frontera, Spain (Larkhill Cruiser)
    • 3rd, Grand Prix - CSI3*, Week 2 Vejer de la Frontera, Spain (Larkhill Cruiser)
    • 2nd, FEI World Cup Qualifier - CSI4*-W, Al Ain, UAE (Larkhill Cruiser) - Also Leading Rider of the Show
    • 3rd, FEI World Cup Qualifier - CSI2*-W, Sharjah, UAE (Larkhill Cruiser)
  • 2010
    • Meydan FEI Nations Cup of Aachen, Germany, (K Club Lady)
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSIO5*, St. Gallen, Switzerland, (K Club Lady)
    • Grand Prix - Basel CSI4*, Basel, Switzerland, (Rancorrado)
  • 2009
    • Grand Prix - Olympia CSI5*-W, London, United Kingdom, (Rancorrado) - Also Leading Rider of the Show
    • 2nd, Rolex FEI World Cup Qualifier - Olympia CSI5*-W, London, United Kingdom, (Rancorrado) - Also Leading Rider of the Show
    • FEI World Cup Qualifier - CSI3*-W Tripoli, Libya, (Irish Independent Echo Beach)
    • 3rd, Rolex FEI World Cup Qualifier - Leipzig CSI5*-W, Germany, (Rancorrado)
  • 2008
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI5*-W Geneva, Switzerland, (Complete)
    • Grand Prix - CSI4* Chantilly, France, (Rancorrado)
  • 2007
    • Nations Cup - CSIO5* Lummen, Belgium, (Irish Independent Echo Beach)
    • Nations Cup - CSIO4* Poznan, Poland, (Complete)
  • 2005
    • 2nd, Grand Prix - CSI3* Frankfurt, Germany, (Waterford Crystal)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rolex Ranking n°186". 30 June 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. ^ "O'Connor takes gold for Ireland". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 27 August 2004. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  3. ^ "O'Connor loses Olympic gold medal". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 27 March 2005.
  4. ^ Naughton, Joe (8 August 2012). "Cian O'Connor wins Olympic bronze medal". Sports News Ireland. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  5. ^ "My Kingdom for a Horse". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. 3 June 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  6. ^ Hynes, Liadan (10 April 2011). "Pippa O'Connor: Life Beyond the bikini". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 10 April 2011. Granddaughter of former Irish rugby captain and Mount Carmel gynaecologist Dr Karl Mullen, she is also the sister of [blotted out due to inaccuracy] Cian O'Connor.
  7. ^ "Cian jumps at wedding". Sunday World. 7 January 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  8. ^ "Rankings/Standings search". FEI Database. FEI. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  9. ^ Live Olympics coverage, NBC.

External links[edit]