Ireland’s Olympic bronze medallist Cian O’Connor recorded double clear rounds to become the first non-Chinese rider to claim the Beijing World Cup comeptition.
O’Connor had to ride a Chinese-based horse, Wavanta, due to quarantine restrictions and beat local rider Bian Baciren and Dutchman Edwin Smits who finished in second and third respectively ahead of a 40-strong field.
The 32 year old from Meath said of the win, “I am absolutely thrilled to win this major event here in China and perhaps contribute to the very encouraging relationship which is emerging between China and Ireland in regard to our respective horse industries.”
“The talent, enthusiasm and love for the horse was evident to see in the Chinese riders.
“These attributes can be further developed and nurtured with good quality coaching and a long term structure which could ultimately culminate in these riders being on the Olympic podium themselves at future games.”
The other Irish link at the event was that the director of the Beijing International Equestrian Club is Galway native Austin Melia.