Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and the ten year-old Dutch-bred mare Be Gentle finished in second place tonight in the Speed Derby at the five-star show in Geneva, Switzerland.

Second to jump in a starting field of 34, Cian was the first to go clear over the course of fences, ditches and banks, and set a very fast time of 69.19 seconds with the Chansonette Farm Llc-owned horse.

It wasn’t until sixth rider to jump, Switzerland’s own Christina Liebherr with the mare L.B.Queen du Chateau, that the Irish rider had to yield the pole position, with the Swiss star shaving just over half a second off his time.

The duo had a nail-biting hour or more watching the rest of the combinations, but at the finish they remained the only two to have completed the course without a single jumping fault.

Liebherr collected 12,300 euro for her win in the Prix Starling Hotel Geneva competition, with O’Connor picking up 7,450 euro for the runner-up spot.

O’Connor hopes to bring his top horse Good Luck out for Sunday’s €1m Rolex Grand Prix.

Jack Burns