Cian O’Connor’s European bronze medal-winning ride Good Luck has been ruled out of action from the Nations Cup final in Barcelona, Spain, this week (28 September-1 October) after suffering what is believed to be a minor shoulder injury.
The pair had been selected to represent Ireland in the team contest but, after taking part in Wednesday’s warm-up class, Cian considered the 11-year-old Canturo stallion ‘not super comfortable’ and the pair withdrew from the competition.
“He passed the trot-up and warmed up fine yesterday,” Cian told H&H. “But afterwards he just didn’t feel 100% and we think he must have just done a funny landing after one fence. The team physio had a look at him and he was just a bit tender on the shoulder.
“He’s already much better this morning and he was due a holiday after Barcelona anyway — we didn’t plan to do any indoor shows on him — so it’s not worth risking a horse like that for one more class. We’re just being cautious.”
Ireland’s team manager Rodrigo Pessoa added: “We have decided not to take any risk with such a special horse. We hope for a speedy recovery.”
Cian rode Good Luck to claim individual bronze at the European Championships in Sweden last month, as well as helping Ireland win team gold. Their last competitive appearance was at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada this month.
Newly crowned European champions Ireland will now be represented in the Nations Cup final by pathfinder Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z), Bertram Allen (Molly Malone V), Shane Breen (Laith) and Denis Lynch with All Star 5.
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The first round starts this afternoon (Thursday) with a total of 18 teams hoping to qualify as one of the leading eight nations who go forward to Saturday night’s final. The remaining 10 teams compete for the Challenge Cup consolation final on Friday.
Read the full story in next week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 5 October.