Cian O'Connor winner of 6 & 7 Year Old HANKOOK Final, with Sponsors Niall Murray, John Clarke & Sean Cusack
Olympian Cian O'Connor was amongst the winners at Cavan Equestrian Centre's annual Showjumping Championships last week. This spectacular event ran from Tuesday, September 18 to Sunday, September 23 and attracted thousands of entries from Britain and Ireland and some great showjumping was witnessed by thousands of spectators from all over Ireland, Britain, USA, Spain and Italy.
A highlight at the show was having Cian O'Connors Olympic bronze medal on display. Hundreds of people viewed this beautiful bronze medal, a once in a life time opportunity!
Friday's showjumping culminated in the first major event, the Snaffles Bar Cavan Indoor Derby. This event is particularly unique as horses use both indoor arenas during this class, adding to its interest for spectators and competitors alike. Out of the 65 starters only four jumped clear to make it to the second round. It was a unforgettable win for Padraic Judge on Hello Spider. Padraic had been second in this class for the past two years. Second went to Capt Michael Kelly on the Minister for Defence's Ringwood Abbey, and third place went to Peter Smyth on James McKean's Victoria Rose. Pauric O'Gorman from Snaffles Bar, sponsor, was on hand to make the presentation to the winners.
Saturday evening's jumping was one of the show highlights, the 6 and 7 year old Hankook Cavan Classic final. An amazing crowd of spectators gathered as usual for this event with 33 of the top six and seven-year-old horses in the country having qualified for the final. After an excellent class in a competitive atmosphere, Olympic Bronze winner Cian O'Connor on Castlellana, came in first, jumping three clear rounds in 29.20. Second place went to Hayley Dunne on her own horse Flintstone De Tiji, also jumping three clear rounds in a slightly slower time of 29.77, and third place went to Shane Goggins on Michael Higgins Timiduane Cruise three clear rounds in 30.90. The delighted sponsors from Hankook Tyres of John Clarke, Niall Murray and Sean Cusack made the presentation to the winners.
Sunday's showjumping got under way with the 1.20m final. Gerard Clarke on Harry Hughes, Nice Girl Sally took first place jumping a double clear in 24.44, in second was Matt Gordon on his own horse Lissadell Joy double clear in 26.27 and third place went to Damian Griffin on Mary Mulkern's Dutell, double clear on 27.22.
The 4 Year Old Final, sponsored by Cashel House Hotel, was Judged by Ian Fearon, Eamon Rice, Jack Doyle. The winner was Shane Quinn on Lismon De Reve Cream, Touch Button ridden by Peter Smyth took second with Hannah Joyce on Talks Cheap taking third place.
The 5 Year Old Cavan Crystal Hotel Classic Final got underway in the early afternoon. Hundreds of people lined the side of the arena to watch this fantastic showjuming class which was very generously sponsored by the Cavan Crystal Hotel with a prize fund of Ä6,500. 12 horses made it through to the second round of the competition. This number was whittled down to 6 going through to the third round. In the end it was a glorious victory for Shane Goggins on Gabriel Mullins Claddagh Iroko jumping three clears in a time of 33.54, second place went to Shannondale Alex ridden by Thomas O'Brien his time was 34.40 and following third place was Country Cruising owned by Joe Flynn and ridden by Joe Sharkey. Siobhan Smith, General Manager of the Cavan Crystal Hotel, made the presentation to the winners.
The Grand finale of the 2012 Cavan Indoor Championships was the Cavan Grand Prix. 68 Competitors battled it out for the Ä4500 prize fund with 6 making it through to the second round. Course builder Peter Gillespie from England 1.45m course proved very challenging. To the delight of the spectators the honours of the evening went to Cian O'Connor on Khaled Al Eid Stallion Vanhoeve jumping a very fast clear round in 32.17. In second was Tholm Keane on Ronan Tynan's Warresntown You 2 jumping clear in 32.59, third place to Jordan Coyle on Peter Smyth's Smokey Malone.
This brought to the end a marathon of showjumping at the Cavan Equestrian Centre with many horses finding new homes. Lots of buyers attend with over 20 horses being sold during the event. These horses will now travel, to Cananda, America, UK, Spain and Italy.