David O’Connor named Athlete of the Month for September

David O'Connor of The Plains, VA has been named United States Equestrian Team (USET) Athlete of the Month for September. O'Connor won the first Olympic Gold Medal for the USET since 1984 when he clinched the individual eventing ...David O'Connor of The Plains, VA has been named United States Equestrian Team (USET) Athlete of the Month for September. O'Connor won the first Olympic Gold Medal for the USET since 1984 when he clinched the individual eventing ...

Story originally posted by: Marty BaumanHorseCity.com Free-Lance Correspondent

David O’Connor of The Plains, VA has been named United States Equestrian Team (USET) Athlete of the Month for September. O’Connor won the first Olympic Gold Medal for the USET since 1984 when he clinched the individual eventing championship on Custom Made, a 15-year-old, Irish Thoroughbred gelding owned by Xandarius, LLC. He finished the three-phase competition with a score of 34.00 penalties, the best score in Olympic history.

For O’Connor, the Gold Medal topped a historic week at the Olympic Games. On Tuesday, he made history by sharing an Olympic medal (team Bronze) with his wife Karen for the second time. (They shared the eventing team Silver in 1996). On Wednesday, O’Connor turned in the best eventing dressage score in Olympic history when he opened the individual competition with a score of 29.00 penalties on Custom Made. Then on Friday, he won the individuals Gold Medal.

"It doesn’t get any better," O’Connor said. "This is the one you always dream about and it’s hard to believe that it actually happened."

David and Karen returned home last week to a jubilant hometown of The Plains, VA. They both received keys to the City from the Mayor.

With the individual Gold Medal, O’Connor now joins Tad Coffin as the only U.S. riders to win the eventing individual Gold. Coffin won in 1976 on Bally Cor. Additionally, O’Connor now has won three Olympic Medals (1996 team Silver, 2000 team Bronze and individual Gold), two Pan American Games medals (1999 team Gold and individual Silver) and one World Championship medal (1998 team Bronze) since 1996.

The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of talented athletes – riders, drivers and horses – and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.