Saturday 26 May 2018

O'Connor back to best in 5-Star display

O’Connor had to cry off participation in Nations Cup and Global Champions Tour teams after suffering a groin ligament tear while competing at Eschweiler, Germany in April. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
O’Connor had to cry off participation in Nations Cup and Global Champions Tour teams after suffering a groin ligament tear while competing at Eschweiler, Germany in April. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Louise Parkes

Cian O'Connor's brilliant victory in the 5-Star Grand Prix at Sopot in Poland yesterday confirms the Irish showjumper's return to top form following a six-week injury break.

Riding the 11-year-old stallion Good Luck, the 37-year-old Irishman had the best of the draw in the 13-horse jump-off.

He pinned the Portuguese partnership of Luciana Diniz and Fit for Fun into runner-up spot, when more than a second faster to collect the €50,000 winner's purse.

O'Connor had to cry off participation in Nations Cup and Global Champions Tour teams after suffering a groin ligament tear while competing in Germany in April.

However, on his return to action at Wiesbaden a week ago, he showed he was bouncing back in style, when lining up fourth with Callisto in the Grand Prix.

Friday's FEI Nations Cup in Sopot was something of a disaster for the Irish team despite a great first round from O'Connor, who collected just a single time fault.

But Irish showjumping continues to be in great shape, with the previous weekend's second, third and fourth placings in the Atco Grand Prix in Langley, Canada for Conor Swail, Daniel Coyle and Andrew Bourns followed by a double for Coyle on the opening day at Spruce Meadows, Calgary on Thursday.

At home yesterday, multiple national champion Francis Connors once again dominated the second leg of the Connolly's Red Mills Munster Grand Prix League.

Connors finished first with Uskerty Diamond Lady and third with Capital Cruise.

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