Ireland’s Olympic Bronze Medallist Cian O’Connor riding Aramis 573, were crowned 2014 Connolly’s RED MILLS 7 & 8 Year Old International champions, following three thrilling competitions at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.
Cian O Connor and Aramis 573, Connolly’s RED MILLS 7 & 8 Year Old International Champions at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, photo Sonya Dempsey Jumpingnews.com
A world class line up which included current world cup champion Daniel Duesser from Germany, Swedish super-star Malin Baryard Johnsson and current world number one Scott Brash from Great Britain, joined a list of Ireland’s top riders with their 7 & 8 year old horses, in a competition which began with two qualifying rounds on Wednesday and Friday at the RDS, before Sunday’s grand final in the main arena, just before the Longines Grand Prix of Ireland.
USA based Irish rider Darragh Kenny and Chin Quidam VDL, landed both Wednesday’s opening speed class and Friday’s second qualifying round of the Connolly’s RED MILLS International 7 & 8 Year Old competition, however Sunday’s final in the RDS saw Meath based Cian O Connor lift The “Corry” Perpetual Challenge Trophy, after a brilliant performance with the eight year old stallion Aramis 573.
Ten of the 22 starters made it into the jump-off, with riders from six different nations taking their chances against the clock, but at the finish it was Cian O Connor who grabbed the Connolly’s RED MILLS sponsored winners prize with Aramis 573, who is by the stallion Askari out of a dam by Campione.
Speaking afterwards, Cian O Connor spoke about his winning mount, who came to him earlier this year having previously competed in Austria, “This was only my second show with this horse, I have only had him a few months. He is still a bit green but is a very fast horse, he has won a lot already as a 5, 6 and 7 year-old in Austria before I got him. His rideability needs to improve a bit but he has a super technique and I don’t think there is a course he can’t jump and if he does make it to the highest level at least he now has already been in this arena at the RDS”.
Cian O Connor went on to praise the sponsors saying, “It is a very good class and a lot of credit must go to the sponsors Connolly’s RED MILLS, it is great to see the Irish horses that qualified to get here, compete against some of the best 7 & 8 year old horses in the world”.
Darragh Kenny was again among the prizes in the final, taking runner up spot with another stallion Chin Quidam VDL, while Nicola Fitzgibbon made sure Ireland filled the top three places, coming home in third with the Irish Sport Horse Shantonagh.
British Aga Khan team member Joe Clee slotted into fourth with Gamko S, while Belgian rider Peter Devos finished fifth with Guicci DV.
The top ranked rider in the world, Scott Brash had to settle for sixth place in the Connolly’s RED MILLS final with the highest placed mare in the class Hello M’Lady, while Tipperary’s Greg Broderick was the next best placed Irish rider finishing ninth with Javas Keltic Mist.
Full Result – Connolly’s RED MILLS 7 & 8 year-old International Final – Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show 10 August 2014
1. Cian O’Connor(IRL)/Aramis 573 0/0 41.85
2. Darragh Kenny(IRL)/Chin Quidam VDL 0/0 42.31
3 Nicola Fitzgibbon(IRL)/Shantonagh(ISH) 0/0 44.27
4. Joe Clee(GBR)/Gamko S 0/0 45.21
5. Pieter Devos(BEL)/Guicci DV 0/0 46.04
6. Scott Brash(GBR)/Hello M’Lady