Cian O’Connor best of the Irish in Olympic individual final as focus now turns to team competition

  • 4 August 2021, 15:51

Ireland’s three Show Jumping combinations in today’s individual final at the Olympic Games in Tokyo once again produced solid performances but ultimately came up just short of the medal places.

Cian O’Connor and Kilkenny finished seventh in the jumping individual final at the Equestrian Park during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Cian O’Connor finished best of the trio with The Irish Sport Horse Kilkenny, taking seventh place overall after jumping a fantastic clear but they picked up a single time fault when just over the time allowed ruling them out of the jump-off. O’Connor and Kilkenny, were one of just eight combinations not to knock a fence in the competition, coming on the back of another clear for the pair in Tuesday’s qualifying round.

Unfortunately Kilkenny suffered a nose-bleed towards the end of the round. This was confirmed by the on-site veterinary team who immediately checked the horse straight after the competition, and he was then taken to the on-site Veterinary Clinic.

Speaking afterwards Cian O’Connor said:
“I’ve decided not to put Kilkenny forward for the team competition as his wellbeing comes first and I’ve no doubt we will have much success together in the future. To finish seventh together in an Olympic Games is not so bad and we will be back to fight another day. I will now be on the ground and will do all I can to help Darragh, Shane and Bertram and hopefully they can get a team medal.”

Irish team vet Marcus Swail gave a positive update on Kilkenny following the competition and said,

“Kilkenny recovered quickly, and all vitals were normal. He was subject to further examination at the on-site veterinary clinic and the horse is now comfortable and back in his stable.”

Cian O’Connor and Kilkenny will now be replaced by Irish reserve combination, Cork’s Shane Sweetnam with Alejandro, a 12-year-old gelding owned by Spy Coast Farm, Seabrook LLC and Shane Sweetnam.

Wexford’s Bertram Allen finished 15th in the individual final with The Irish Sport Horse Pacino Amiro after picking up eight faults, while Offaly’s Darragh Kenny finished on the same score with VDL Cartello to place 17th.

Britain’s Ben Maher and Explosion W are the new Olympic champions, taking the gold medal after a six-horse jump-off. Sweden’s Peder Fredricson and H&M All In took silver while the bronze went to The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten with Beauville Z.

The Olympic Show Jumping team competition qualifying round takes place on Friday, with the team medals to be decided in the final on Saturday.

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