O'Connor leads the World Cup charge for Ireland

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Cian O'CONNOR led a clean sweep for Ireland when he won the opening international contest of the Millstreet World Cup Show on the grey mare Kala, with whom he had teamed up just 10 days earlier.

Cian O'CONNOR led a clean sweep for Ireland when he won the opening international contest of the Millstreet World Cup Show on the grey mare Kala, with whom he had teamed up just 10 days earlier.

O'Connor defeated four other Irishmen, with Eddie Maloney closest on another good grey mare, Cushlane Flight. Britain's Tim Stockdale was best of the depleted overseas visitors, coming sixth on Traxdata Parcival.

The World Cup contest - cancelled at one point because of a shortfall in prize money, then reinstated when extra finance was acquired - had been dealt a further blow when gales in the Channel prevented riders bringing horses from the Continent. The overseas contingent is therefore down to eight Britons, one United States rider and one Frenchman.

There was still no shortage of talent for yesterday's opening contest, which was marred by the slippery ground in this indoor arena. The soil was loose on top and firm underneath, causing horses to lose their footing. Robert Smith's Senator For The Best was among those who almost came down and he was forced to circle back to a fence to let the horse regain his balance.

The victorious O'Connor had fallen on the same ground in a national class here on Thursday, so knew the problems and did not take any chances. He had first seen the mare at Drammen in Norway in June, and recently bought her.

Nobody has so far managed to acquire Stockdale's eight-year-old mount Parcival, although it has not been for want of trying. Stockdale did not attempt to go particularly fast on the attractive grey gelding and collected two time faults under the new rule under which faults accrue rapidly, at the rate of one per second.

Stockdale was hoping to qualify the more experienced Wiston Bridget for tonight's World Cup class, leaving Parcival to contest the Irish Indoor Grand Prix tomorrow.

Parcival, who missed Millstreet a year ago, has recently returned from an eight-month lay-off after sustaining an injury slipping in his stable. Since coming back into action, Parcival has won a class at The Horse Show at Great Leighs in Essex, finished second in the Puissance at Wembley and also been runner-up in a big contest at Bremen in Germany.

Comments