Cian O'Connor

Cian O'Connor

Irish rider
Date of Birth: 12.11.1979
Country: Ireland

  1. Biography of Cian O'Connor
  2. Olympic Games 2004
  3. Controversy and Disqualification
  4. Personal Life
  5. Family Ties

Biography of Cian O'Connor

Cian O'Connor, an Irish equestrian, was born on November 12, 1979, in Dublin. He gained fame as the winner of the gold medal in show jumping at the 2004 Olympic Games. However, his moment of victory was short-lived as his horse failed a doping test.

Cian O'Connor

Olympic Games 2004

Riding his horse, Waterford Crystal, O'Connor became a national hero as the only Irish medalist that year. Yet on October 8, 2004, it was revealed that Waterford Crystal, ridden by O'Connor, had not passed the doping test. Forbidden substances were found in the blood of the horse, as well as three other competing horses at the Olympics. O'Connor claimed that he personally fed his horse before the competition and denied any use of prohibited substances. He firmly believed that he had rightfully won the gold medal. O'Connor stated that Waterford Crystal had undergone veterinary treatment before the Olympics, which naturally involved the administration of medicinal preparations. James Sheeran, the veterinarian, also insisted that no prohibited substances were used during the treatment, and all actions were lawful and ceased before the start of the horse race.

Cian O'Connor

Controversy and Disqualification

The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) declared O'Connor's victory invalid, stripping him of the medal and prohibiting him from participating in competitions for three months. The gold medal was awarded to Rodrigo Pessoa, a Brazilian equestrian and the son of coach Nelson Pessoa. The Irish show jumping team was disqualified by the Olympic Committee, resulting in Italy taking their seventh-place position.

Personal Life

On June 19, 2002, O'Connor's girlfriend, Hazel O'Callaghan, (the daughter of renowned magnate Owen O'Callaghan) suffered a serious injury while attempting to unload a horse from a trailer. The horse violently jerked, throwing Hazel onto the mentioned trailer in a fit of rage. Two weeks later, she tragically passed away at the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin at the age of 22. O'Connor's maternal grandfather, Karl Muller, was a well-known Irish rugby player. He is the godson of Tony O'Reilly, a prominent businessman and billionaire from Dublin.

Family Ties

Pippa O'Connor, a model, is Cian O'Connor's sister. She is currently in a relationship with Brian Ormond.