Cian O'Connor, aboard Good Luck, celebrates a clear round in the team and individual jumping championships, Lynn Hey

Cian O'Connor inspires Ireland to world show jumping final

Rodrigo Pessoa’s team are on course to secure qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

CIAN O’CONNOR PUT in an impressive display as Ireland qualified for the world show jumping final in North Carolina, USA, on Thursday.

Needing a top-10 finish to avoid exiting the competition, Ireland finished sixth overall out of 25 teams.

Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z initially finished with two fences down and a time fault.

Next up was Shane Breen and Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker, who produced a total of 14 faults, before the Irish team looked in serious trouble, as Paul O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu ended up with eight faults overall.

However, a subsequent sterling performance from Cian O’Connor and Good Luck, who jumped a clear round, ultimately ensured the team’s comfortable progression to the final with a score of 27.12. 

Switzerland are the current leaders on 11.64 followed by hosts USA (12.59) and third-place Germany (18.09).

Friday’s final begins at 6.30pm Irish time, with the top-six teams earning an automatic spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

O’Connor and his horse are also in a strong position individually, as they sit fifth overall.

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