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Show Jumping Result: LIM Timberframe Grand Prix League : O'Connor takes Louth County Show

IN blazing sunshine, and with an enthusiastic crowd to cheer on the combatants, Louth County's Grand Prix ended today (Sunday) in a classic three horse shoot-out, with 24 yr old Cian O'Connor finally emerging the victor on his new mare, <Irish Independent Annabella>.

Thirty-eight combinations started, but only eleven made the jump-off, and with two horses left to jump, League veteran James Kernan was in the lead with a double clear on his own <Out of Touch>. However, Co. Down ace Conor Swail follows James into the arena, and clipped fractions of a second off his time with <Conduct>.

But last man to jump, Meath-based Cian O'Connor, rode his nine yr old mare through Tom Holden's course in a brilliant display of speed jumping, finishing almost three seconds ahead of Swail.

O'Connor, who is shortlisted for the Irish Olympic team this year, also brought his top horse, <Waterford Crystal> into Fifth, and points gained from last week's Fourth at the Coilog Grand Prix now help propel him into leadership of the IJM TimberFrame League.

O'Connor said afterwards: <<Much of the success of today's show must go to course builder Tom Holden, who I personally think is one of the best in the country. On walking the course it did not look very big, but on jumping, it produced eleven clears and five double clears. Unlike the old-fashioned style, where the jumps were so big you needed a bulldozer to get through them, Tom builds a careful and technical track that requires constant attention from both horse and rider.>>

O'Connor won at Louth County Show with <Normandy> in 2000 and <Irish Independent Casper> in 2003. However, he will be absent later in the summer on Super League duty and will almost certainly be at Athens in August, so the field is still wide open in the IJM TimberFrame League.

sponsored by Horseware Ireland
Sunday 28th April 2004
Venue: Dundalk, Co. Louth

Prize Money: 3000 Euro

1) Irish Independent Annabella (Owners C. O'Connor and S. O'Callaghan);
Cian O'Connor Faults 0/0 Time 32.71
2) Conduct (Owner Knightsfield Equestrian Centre); Conor Swail Faults
0/0 Time 35.58
3) Out Of Touch (Owner James Kernan); James Kernan Faults 0/0 Time 36.19
4) Killy Jones (Owner Bryan McIvor); Linda Courtney Faults 0/0 Time
5) Waterford Crystal (Owner Independent News and Media and Waterford
Crystal); Cian O'Connor Faults 0/0 Time 40.78
6) Gelvin Clover (Owner May Scott); Clem McMahon Faults 0/4 Time 36.70

38 starters, 11 through to jump-off

Rankings after Louth County Grand Prix 3000 Euro
Co. Louth

1) Cian O'Connor 14 points
=2) Olive Clarke and Conor Swail 10 points
4) Edward Little 8 points
=5) Glenn Leddy and James Kernan 6 points


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