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Cian O'Connor and Kilkenny withdraw from team showjumping event in Tokyo

The horse suffered a nosebleed during today’s individual event.

Cian O'Connor on Kilkenny during the  Individual Jumping Final.
Cian O'Connor on Kilkenny during the Individual Jumping Final.
Image: Libby Law/INPHO

CIAN O’CONNOR HAS withdrawn horse Kilkenny from Friday’s team showjumping event at the Olympic Games after the horse suffered a nosebleed halfway through the individual final earlier today. 

Reserve rider Shane Sweetnam and Alejandro will replace the duo for Friday’s team qualifier on Friday alongside Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny.

O’Connor and Kilkenny were the best of the Irish with a joint-seventh finish in Wednesday morning’s final at Tokyo Equestrian Park.

The nine-year-old grey had a nosebleed halfway round the track, but continued jumping without fault until the finish. 

“Tough night,” he said in a Twitter post. 

“Unfortunately he (Kilkenny) had a nose bleed at the end of the competition but the vets checked him over and he seems fine,” said O’Connor.

“We’re allowed to continue to compete but for me his future is more important. I’m going to mind him. I’m going to be on the ground and I’m going to help Bertram, Darragh and Shane.

“Please God they can get a team medal and we will be back to fight another day.

“I’m just happy he’s in such good shape and he jumped so well throughout the qualifier and the final.

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“To finish seventh in an Olympic final is not so bad and we’ll be back to fight another day.”

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