Mitchelstown foreman saw Lord Windermere to Gold Cup glory
There was great excitement in Mitchelstown this week, as congratulations poured in for foreman Gary O'Connor, who was instrumental in bringing Jim Culloty's horse Lord Windermere to glory as the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.
A tense race, Lord Windermere climbed up, almost from the back, to take the winning lead in the very last seconds.
Gary will have been working with the horse two years in July and he told The Avondhu that the win was unbelievable and he was just trying to get back to normal now.
Gary had been standing at the last fence and as he watched on, he was worried after the first four or five fences.
"The more I watched him, he was jumping better. The further he went, the better he got," Gary told The Avondhu.
He added that many spectators said that the horse seemed to have come from nowhere, but he has been riding the horse since the first day he started working with Jim Culloty.
"All the work paid off - all the hard mornings in the rain and the snow," Gary said.
Gary said that the Gold Cup was the aim and now that they have that, Lord Windermere will probably take a rest for the summer.
"I'm nearly sure they'll aim for the Gold Cup again next year," he added.
Thursday 20th March 6:03pm