Cian O’Connor Earns Overall WEF Leading International Rider Title

Cian O’Connor aboard Fancy de Kergane Winter Equestrian Festival Sportfot (c)

Presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur With Michael and Wendy Smith

Wellington, Florida – Cian O’Connor of Ireland claimed the Overall Leading International Rider Award, presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman together with Michael and Wendy Smith, at the conclusion of the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

A Leading International Rider Award was presented each week to the rider who earned the most points based on performances in that week’s WEF Challenge Cup and featured grand prix event. Surprisingly, O’Connor did not win any of the weekly awards, but his consistent performances throughout the 12-week circuit earned him a total of 862 points and the Overall Leading International Rider title.

Second place went to Wellington’s own Margie Goldstein-Engle with a total of 823 points earned throughout the WEF season while another Irish rider, Shane Sweetnam, was third overall with a total of 800 points.

“We had an incredible winter in Florida,” said O’Connor, who has based himself in Wellington, FL, for many winter seasons. “The horses performed really well and that is thanks to all of their owners: Sue and John Magnier, Sarah Stoute, Nikki Walker, and Pat Crean. All our horses jumped outstandingly, and I was delighted to have won the title of Leading International Rider of the WEF circuit.

“All credit must go to the brilliant team behind the scenes, from everybody in the stable who puts in the hard work day in and day out, to all of my support staff, and everybody else who contributes to the Karlswood team,” continued Cian O’Connor. “I am extremely grateful to each and every one of them.”

In recognition of his achievement, the Irish Olympic medalist was presented with a generous gift card for Palm Beach’s iconic Breakers hotel prior to the start of the $500,000 CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix on Saturday, March 30.

“A huge thank you to Martha Jolicoeur and Mike and Wendy Smith for sponsoring this award,” said O’Connor. “I’m looking forward to using the lovely Breakers voucher when I return to Florida next winter!”

Jolicoeur has been a long-time sponsor of the annual Winter Equestrian Festival and previously presented the popular Leading Lady Rider title, an award she initiated in 2010.

“Having previously sponsored the Leading Lady Rider Award, I was proud to sponsor a new award to recognize the leading international riders this year, alongside Mike and Wendy Smith,” said Jolicoeur, who enjoyed a successful international show jumping career before becoming one of Douglas Elliman’s top real estate brokers. “Being the leading rider at any international show is a special achievement, and to win the overall title at the Winter Equestrian Festival after so many weeks of competition is truly a rare feat. Cian’s win was well-deserved following a fantastic season.”

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Based in Wellington, FL, Jolicoeur has been serving the equestrian community full-time since 2005 and specializes in both residential and farm properties. As part of the elite Douglas Elliman Real Estate Sports and Entertainment division, she offers a wide range of property listings that fit the equestrian lifestyle and beyond. To learn more about Martha W. Jolicoeur, visit

Press release Wellington International

Cian O’Connor, pictured aboard Fancy de Kergane, earned the Overall Leading International Rider Award, presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur together with Michael and Wendy Smith, following consistent performances throughout the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL – Photo by Sportfot (c)

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