Cian O’Connor runs out of luck in Rotterdam

The Co Meath rider was pipped to the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix title

Ireland’s Cian O’Connor narrowly failed to land the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of Rotterdam as the five-star Dutch show concluded on Sunday afternoon.

Riding the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion Good Luck, with which he won the five-star Grand Prix at Sopot in Poland two weeks previously, the Co Meath rider was fourth to go in the eight-runner jump-off round and set a new standard in 40.46.

Disappointingly for O’Connor, this time was immediately bettered by Sweden’s Peder Fredricson who, riding H&M All In, stopped the clock on 40.15 to take the first place prize-money of €50,000. Also recording a second clear, The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager finished third with Sterrehof’s Calimero (40.59) while, frustratingly lowering the final fence, Co Offaly’s Darragh Kenny was eighth on Charly Chaplin S (39.43).

There was a jump-off in Sunday’s famed Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby between two British riders on Irish-bred horses.


The winner, who picked up four faults against the clock, was Nigel Coupe riding Susan Simmons’s Golvers Hill, a 14-year-old Ricardo Z gelding which was bred in Co Galway by Patrick Lynch out of the Clover Hill mare Hill Of Clover, while, with eight faults in the timed round, Harriet Nuttall finished second on A Touch Imperious, a 13-year-old Touchdown gelding which was bred in Co Louth by Leo Rice.

Three riders, who had four faults in round one, divided third place and took home €10,850 each. They were Britain’s Holly Smith with her own nine-year-old OBOS Quality 004 gelding Quality Old Joker, Co Down’s Dermott Lennon on Victoria Loane’s 11-year-old Touchdown gelding Gelvins Touch and Co Cork’s Billy Twomey riding the British Sport Horse gelding Diaghilev.

In Saturday’s Speed Derby at the west Sussex venue, Ireland’s Derek McCoppin (Whiterock Lucky Lady, 95.72), Liam O’Meara (Curraghgraigue Jack Take Fligh, 97.04) and Paddy O’Donnell (Finnegans Whiskers, 97.58) had to settle for fourth, five and sixth positions as Britain’s Matthew Sampson won on Topflight True Carlo (92.73).

Tipperary-based O’Meara, who was making his debut at the All England Jumping Course, was back in Ireland on Saturday night and the following afternoon won the latest round of the Show Jumping Ireland national Grand Prix series at Charleville on Mr Coolcaum one of three horses he had in the jump-off round.

On the national eventing scene, Meabh Bolger won Sunday’s O/CNC2* class at Grove in Co Tipperary riding her own 11-year-old Out Of Touch gelding Killossery Athletic Touch. The Co Waterford combination completed on their dressage score of 29.3 penalties ahead of Emma Jackson on Amy B (31.8) and fellow Co Down rider Clare Abbott with Glenkeeran River (32.2).

In dressage, Ireland’s James Connor and Casino Royal (66.580) placed third in Friday’s three-star FEI Grand Prix test in Pompadour, France. The winner of the 29 starter class was Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj on Smeyers Molberg (70.840).