World of Showjumping
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Cian O’Connor secures deal on two of his Olympic hopes

Thursday, 22 February 2024

Photo © Equus Media Cian O’Connor and Maurice during the Nations Cup in Vejer de la Frontera last year. Photo © Equus Media.

Cian O’Connor has announced that Keysoe International has invested in two of his Olympic hopefuls; the 12-year-old gelding Maurice (Thunder vd Zuuthoeve x Eros Platiere) and the 10-year-old stallion Fermoy (Ex. Chacco's Light, Chacco's Son x Light On). O’Connor is currently competing in Florida, getting ready for possible selection for the Irish showjumping team that will appear at Olympic Games in Paris this summer. 

After a 2nd place in a CSI5* 1.60m Grand Prix with Maurice, and Fermoy coming 4th in a National Grand Prix, O’Connor explained he has come under pressure with several interested parties wanting to buy the horses. In a press release from Karlswood, O’Connor commented: “It’s very difficult to turn down such offers. The Irish team is very strong and so to make the Olympic selection having enough horse power and being match fit is so important. I’ve reached out to friend and client Sarah Stoute of Keysoe International who has decided to invest into the horses with me for the Olympic Games, and ultimately secure them in the future for her daughter Keira Stoute."

O’Connor, who claimed individual bronze in London in 2012, stated in the press release: “Together with the Magnier family, Pat Crean and Nikki Walker, I am very fortunate to already have such support and an incredible team of horses currently to ride. Wellington in Florida has gone very well so far with all the horses achieving great results. Now with Keysoe International coming on board means I can keep my team of horses together which hopefully puts me in a stronger position to ultimately support and deliver for Team Ireland."

“I must say the success not only for me but also for my students is largely due to the great team of staff we currently have at Karlswoood. One cannot live from past glories and so over the last year I’ve made a serious effort to build a strong team of people and horses around me in order to have myself well mounted and in the best shape possible to achieve success. The Olympics is never a given, it’s a dream and I’m hoping if I have the form that I can be a part of Team Ireland in Paris.”

Sarah Stoute, owner of Keysoe International, commented: “We are proud to support Cian by helping him keep Maurice and Fermoy for his Olympic quest and delighted to secure the future rides for Keira Stoute. These two great horses will be joining her strong string of horses particularly our stallions; K.I. Taj Mahal, K.I. Checkter and K.I. Festival Du Banney.”

“Myself and my family have been working with Cian and his Karlswood team now for over a year and we are thrilled to be in a position to assist him and he has our full support and backing.”

O’Connor added: “I was pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to the Stoute family and extremely grateful that they were happy to support me. The goal for Keysoe International is to develop Keira into a professional showjumper and myself and my team will support her fully. In addition, the venue has incredible plans centred on the Keysoe Athlete Development Academy for prospering athletes by offering a wide range of support in all areas for horse and rider alike.”

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