During my trip to Wellington (FL) this past winter, I ran into Cian O’Connor. Ok, more like I saw him, made a bee-line to him, and pounced – inquiring, “Hi Cian, could you possibly spare a few minutes to share some advice and insights into your riding and training with me for my column with Phelpssports.com?” Without hesitation he replies, “Sure.” “Catch up with me after my competition tomorrow afternoon. I will be at the International Arena.” “Great,” I say. “And thanks!” I started watching Cian after he won the bronze 2012 Olympic metal and subsequently learned that he had ridden a horse related to mine at one point. So as you can imagine, I was thrilled to be able to speak with him and gain insights from his perspective. So I did as told and met up with him the next day. A friend of mine recorded our conversation, but alas, high winds during taping made it difficult for me to hear some of our discussion. So I email him in late April, after the busy show season, and ask if he wouldn’t mind a supplemental phone interview with me. “No problem,” he replies. So here I am a bit behind on my deadline, but the better for it. I hope you enjoy our conversation and learn as much from it as I did.
It was really fun meeting you in Florida in February. I know you were quite busy then. What do you have coming up this spring and summer in Europe? (This was recorded in early May 2012.)
I am headed to Lisbon this weekend. My stable rider Ross Mulholland is competing in the Nations Cup on the Irish B team riding one of my horses, then myself and Nikki (Nicole Walker a Canadian young rider who owns Blue Loyd and who Cian coaches) are off to an international show in Germany, from there I will compete at a four star show in Fontainebleau in France. Then I will be at the Aachen show in Germany at the end of the month. So it’s a fairly busy four weeks on the road with shows and then we finish up in July with the Global Champions Tour and then at the Dublin horse show at the beginning of August for the Furusiyya Nations’ Cup. Read more →