Wednesday 21 March 2018

Equestrian: O'Connor springs back to top

Louise Parkes

Cian O'Connor's win with Complete in the 10th leg of the HSI Chippison Spring Tour at Warrington in Kilkenny on Monday has put him back on top of the series leaderboard.

The Meath-based rider also slotted into sixth place with his new ride, the 11-year-old K Club Lady, which only arrived at his yard last Thursday. It was an emphatic victory with 13-year-old gelding Complete, who finished almost two seconds faster than KEC Alicante ridden by Sinead Kennedy from Tralee in the 16-horse jump-off.

O'Connor, however, has no designs on the series title as he is heading out on the international circuit next week.

A hat-trick of wins at Cavan, Kill and now Kilkenny have proved that Complete is in the right frame of mind ahead of the bigger challenges that will be presented at the international fixtures in Lummen, Belgium, Hagen in Germany and at the first leg of the Global Champions Tour in Valencia, Spain over the next few weeks.

In his absence, O'Connor's former tutor, John Floody from Navan, seems a strong contender for the HSI Chippison title.

O'Connor has high hopes for the 17.2hh K Club Lady, an experienced campaigner on the Spanish circuit, who should take some of the weight off his other top ride, Rancorrado, ahead of the biggest target for the year -- the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in September.

At Vilamours in Portugal on Sunday, Conor Swail continued his run of form with Mojito when second in the Grand Prix.

Horse Sport Ireland has announced details of its new stallion inspection system which is designed to be more transparent than ever.

The inspection panel will be selected through public competition and inspectors will undergo training in conjunction with the Dutch KWPN Studbook in an effort to modernise and rejuvenate the Irish system which has come in for criticism in the past.

Irish Independent

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