SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA-September 22, 2000-David O'Connor of The Plains, VA won the first Olympic Gold Medal for the United States Equestrian Team (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. Placing second was Andrew Hoy of Australia with a score of 39.80 on Swizzle In and two-time Olympic champion Mark Todd of New Zealand was third with a score of 42.00 on Eyespy II.
For O'Connor, the Gold Medal topped a historic week. 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.
"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."