Ireland’s Cian O’Connor took fourth place in the first of this week’s major international competitions at the five-star show in Spruce Meadows, Canada.
The wealth of star-studded names in the Telus Cup starting order saw no less than three Olympic individual medallists make it through to the eight-horse jump-off: Ireland’s O’Connor (Bronze, London 2012), Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat (Gold, London 2012) and Canada’s Eric Lamaze (Gold, Beijing 2008; Bronze, Rio 2016).
Riding the bay gelding Callisto, O’Connor went double clear, but was outpaced by his fellow Olympians and also the USA’s Jack Hardin Towell with SF Ariantha, who claimed third place over O’Connor by less than half a second.
Victory in the class went eventually to Guerdat and the ten year-old mare Albfuehrens Happiness, who set what proved to be an unbeatable jump-off time of 35.71 seconds.
Lamaze took second place aboard the Oldenburg gelding Chacco Kid.
O’Connor is joined at Spruce Meadows by Tipperary’s Greg Broderick, and both will be hoping to qualify this week for Sunday’s richest prize in show jumping, the $2m Rolex CP International Grand Prix, where the winner will pocket a cool 450,000 euro.