Ireland's Cian O'Connor won today's opening competition at London Olympia's five-star show, just as he had won the closing competition of 2009 at the same venue.
Riding Declan McEvoy's Celano gelding 'Umberto', the 31 year-old O'Connor this afternoon fought off competition in the two-phase class from Olympia's strong British contingent to claim the trophy by a sixth of a second from John Whitaker.
Last year O'Connor closed the seven-day Olympia Christmas show with victory in the Grand Prix on 'Rancorrado', the first time Ireland had won the class since Eddie Macken's first place in 1987.
'Umberto' has now given O'Connor two wins in five days, having claimed the Geneva Derby trophy in Switzerland on Saturday.
1) Umberto; Cian O'Connor (IRL) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 25.15
2) Dazzle II; John Whitaker (GBR) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 25.32
3) Toklund; Ben Maher (GBR) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 26.42