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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 18 September, 2019
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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, aboard Good Luck, celebrates a clear round in the team and individual jumping championships,
Cian O'Connor, aboard Good Luck, celebrates a clear round in the team and individual jumping championships,
Image: Lynn Hey

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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