CIAN O’Connor has finished joint-seventh in the individual Olympic final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The three-time Olympian was sixth into the arena with the beautiful nine-year-old grey gelding Kilkenny (Cardento x Guidam), owned by Sue Magnier and bred by Sinead Brennan at Mill House Stud in Co Kilkenny.
Over Santiago Varela's huge 1.65m track that was causing big trouble for the first group of riders, Cian gave a masterclass of riding to guide the inexperienced Irish-bred around the biggest course he would have seen to date to just pick up a single time fault, just 0.45 seconds outside the 88 seconds allowed.
A total of six combinations have made it through to a jump-off for medals at the Baji Keon Equestrian Park. Sweden are represented by all three team riders – Henrik von Eckermann, Malin Baryard-Johnsson and Peder Fredricson. They are joined by Japan’s Daisuke Fukushima, Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten and Britain’s favourite Ben Maher.
There was heartbreak for Britain’s Scott Brash when he had a time fault with Jefferson and finished in joint-seventh place with Cian O’Connor.
Rest of the Irish
Bertram Allen finished out of contention with eight faults aboard Aiden McGrory’s nine-year-old gelding Pacino Amiro (Pacino x NC Amiro), bred by Simon Scott. The pair got a difficult stride to the big treble combination and knocked the first part before doing very well to get out over the next two parts. They also knocked the Mount Fuji vertical three from home.
Darragh Kenny was second last into the arena with Heathfarm Farm’s VDL Cartello but was out of luck when picking up eight faults, first at the second part of the double and at the verticle following the open water.
The jump-off is coming up after a short break to change the course.
MORE TO FOLLOW.