Šamorín, Slovakia – October 27, 2019 – A packed house lined the stands to witness Cian O’Connor (IRL) claim the €93.500 Grand Prix CSI 4*, presented by Energochemica, on Sunday afternoon, October 27, at the X-Bionic® Indoor Master CSI 4*/2*. Riding Ronnoco Jump Ltd.’s 9-year-old gelding, PSG Final (Toulon x Cassini), O’Connor bested a competitive, 50-horse field, closing the weekend out with an electric jump-off performance.
“I am delighted with ‘Charlie’ (PSG Final) as we call him in the stables,” O’Connor said after his win. “I really enjoyed being able to ask him a few questions, and he really answered them. Luckily, he came out on top today!”
Third to go in the first-round order, O’Connor stayed on trend, following on the heels of two, early clears set by Wilton Porter (USA) and Sameh El Dahan (EGY). The unbroken string would prove short-lived, however, and for the combinations to follow, Course Designer Pier Francesco Bazzocchi’s (ITA) tidy, 1.55m track, with its challenging triple combination, left little room for error.
A total of 12 competitors would ultimately find their way through to the second round, where Wilton Porter (USA) and Caletto Cabana and Sameh El Dahan (EGY) and Suma’s Zorro were once again pathfinders, logging two more, penalty-free rounds.
Cian O’Connor (IRL) & PSG Final
O’Connor, next to go, made full use of PSG Final’s considerable athleticism, leaving out a stride in the jump-off’s bending line and cruising home on a deceptively fast 38.13 seconds to overtake the early leaders. “I had to see if I got a good jump in, and could make those seven strides in the bending line work. I think there were only one or two other horses in this class who were able to do it, so that is where he got a little bit of time,” O’Connor explained.
Fifth to go on the shortened track, Paul Estermann (SUI) and Lord Pepsi (Böckmann’s Lord Pezi x Santander H) would also shave seconds off the clock with two, efficient rollback turns, dashing through the timers on 39.15 to take third.
Two rounds later, Wilton’s brother, Lucas Porter (USA), left it all on the table aboard C-Hunter (Cassini II x Corland), galloping for home and into second place on a time of 38.95 seconds.
It’s been a standout month for O’Connor and PSG Final, who helped lead the Irish team to victory and a Tokyo 2020 Olympic berth with their clear performance in the last round of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona, Spain. “With the Irish team, we have been focusing on trying to get the Olympic qualification. PSG Final is a new horse for me this season, and all year was really about minding the horse for the team,” O’Connor said. “I did not really get to do many individual classes on him, and I certainly never went against the clock on him before this weekend.
Cian O’Connor (IRL) & PSG Final with event director Denis Monticolo during the awards ceremony
“Today, coming into the jump-off, I wanted to have a bit of a go.”
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Carlotta Buracchi / Denis Monticolo Events for X-Bionic Equestor Sphere
Photos: © X-Bionic Equestor Sphere
Categories: CSI 4*