Behind The Photo: Seringat Is The Ultimate Overachiever

Mar 6, 2017 - 12:36 PM

As Cian O’Connor cantered through the timers after his first round in the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix, his first thought was “I’m clear!”

His second thought was, “Seringat, we’re not in the show ring anymore.”

An unplanned exit! Photo by Ann Glavan
An unplanned exit! Photo by Ann Glavan

After landing from the final fence, Seringat casually leapt over the small fence circling the show ring and went for a canter with O’Connor on the grass in front of the VIP tent.

“I suppose the last jump was quite close to the corner, and I pushed hard through the finish for the time, and then he was just playing, and he was having a little skip around,” O’Connor said. “I just softened my hands, and I could see that I was going a bit close to the fence. I thought he’d straighten up, but he just popped over it.”

Cian O'Connor had a good sense of humor about Seringat popping out of the ring. Photo by Ann Glavan
Cian O’Connor had a good sense of humor about Seringat popping out of the ring. Photo by Ann Glavan

Because O’Connor had already broken the beam and stopped the clock when Seringat made his unplanned exit from the ring, the pair was not eliminated and were able to come back for the jump-off, finishing up in 12th place.

“I was like &%$#, I hope I can’t get eliminated for this! And then I heard the announcer was being funny, so I was happy enough,” O’Connor said with a laugh. “I was lucky it was grass there and not concrete, but it was really strange. I was just focused on getting through the timers for the time allowed, and next thing you know he was only two meters from the end of the ring.”

That grand prix marked O’Connor’s final class with the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Chef Rouge—Diana Du Bois, Guillaume Tell). Owned by O’Connor’s business Ronnoco Jump Ltd., since November of 2016, the gelding made quite a few headlines. He and O’Connor helped the Irish team take victories at the FEI Nations Cups at HITS Ocala (Fla.) on Feb. 17 and at the Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) on March 3, also winning the $100,000 City Of Ocala Grand Prix on Feb. 19.

Cian O'Connor and Seringat over the last fence of the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix. Photo by Ann Glavan
Cian O’Connor and Seringat during the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix. Photo by Ann Glavan

During Week 8 of WEF, Seringat was sold and will now be campaigned by Olympic and World Equestrian Games veteran Geir Gulliksen, a Norwegian rider.

“When he came here [to Florida] he was very, very good right away; he was clear in the grand prix during the first week of WEF, and he was seventh in the World Cup [qualifier at] Deeridge, and obviously double clear and part of the winning team as well as winning the Nations Cup in Ocala [and Wellington], so I couldn’t have had a better experience with the horse,” O’Connor said. “But business is business, and you’ll never go broke taking profit, so you have to keep the show on the road, too.”

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