Olympic bronze medallist Cian O'Connor today won a Golf GTI car when taking first prize at the Grand Prix in Sommerstorf, Germany but immediately donated it to his long-time groom, ‘Frenchy’.
Riding Beverley Widdowson's 12-year-old gelding Unique clear over two rounds, the 33-year-old O'Connor, who is based in Meath, was one of ten combinations through to the jump-off, but claimed the white performance car as his prize when romping home almost two seconds faster than German challenger Carsten-Otto Nagel and Holiday by Solitour.
Afterwards O'Connor said: "Unique has been a consistent performer since joining my stables at the beginning of the year, and has delivered great performances in the United Arab Emirates, Austria and more recently in Norten Hardenburg in Germany.
“We came here to win the Grand Prix and that's just what we did."
Asked about his decision to hand over the Golf GTI to his groom, O'Connor said: "Frenchy (real name Clement Waras) has been with me through thick and thin over the last seven years, including the London Olympics, and the decision was quite simple - my wife and I both have cars and he does not. So Frenchy gets the Golf."