In brief: O'Connor takes fifth on Splendor
Cian O'Connor finished fifth with Splendor in yesterday's Grand Prix at Stockholm, Sweden, where he also produced a series of good results with his exciting new ride, Umberto.
The Irishman produced one of eight clears in the first round of the Grand Prix, but had a pole down second time out as Dutchman Leon Thijssen took the honours with Tyson.
Riding the nine-year-old Umberto, which he describes as "a little flyer, and a real weapon against the clock," O'Connor registered two sixth-placings and also lined up third in the Two-Phase competition at the Swedish fixture.
In Brussels, Billy Twomey looked a contender for the Grand Prix title when through to the jump-off with Je T'Aime Flamenco. But the stallion was eliminated in the second round.
Meanwhile in Dresden, Cameron Hanley secured his first significant success in some time when winning Saturday's Grand Prix Qualifier riding Castlemartin Stud's 13-year-old Complete. However, things didn't go Hanley's way in yesterday's feature Grand Prix with two fences down in the first round.
At Neeroeteren, Belgium, Irish Pony and Junior riders were in flying form. Emma O'Dwyer was runner-up with Jacknell Street and Katie McCarthy was fourth with Moneymaker in yesterday's Pony Grand Prix, while Emma Turkington and Allihies Diamond Boy won the Junior Jump-Off and Bertram Allen was fourth with Acapella in the Pony Speed.
Corinthians have failed in their bid to bring Belgium-based Brian Doherty back into their squad for a Christmas run. The Reds were hoping to take advantage of the Continental 'winter stop' and return the Ireland defender to their ranks.
But Leinster officials have ruled that Doherty is not eligible to play in domestic hockey while he remains on the books of Braxgata in the Belgian league. Corinthians, who sorely missing his 20-goal contribution from penalty corners last season, wanted to follow the precedent set by Tim Lewis, who is back with Pembrook Wanderers from German side Crefelder.
Administrators decided that Germany's four month lay-off, until April, made Lewis a special case, while Belgium's two-month winter stop did not merit similar consideration.
The weekend programme was decimated by the snowfall.
Former National title holders Andy Mackarel and Liam Higgins scored their first championship win of the season in Saturday night's Midland MC Navigation Trial based around Drumlish, Longford, after a 140-mile snow and ice affected route.
They were well clear of runners-up Michael Carbin and Evin Hughes, with the weather conditions causing major problems for competitors and very high scores all round.
- Carl Froch reclaimed the WBC super middleweight title after gaining a unanimous points victory over Arthur Abraham in Helsinki on Saturday night.