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Pippa won’t let Cian exit spoil her birthday trip (The Herald)

TOP model Pippa O’Connor hoofed it over to London to cheer on her brother Cian as he competed for Ireland in the Olympics.

Herald, MF – 07 August 2012

But although he narrowly missed out on a place in the fourth round of the showjumping event, the blonde beauty still had something to celebrate in the British capital, namely turning 28 today.

The Diary can reveal how the Kildare model jetted over to soak up some of the atmosphere at the equestrian event as she cheered on her older sibling, who was pipped at the post in the next round.

Speaking after he and his horse Blue Loyd were knocked out, she admitted she was “so disappointed for Cian”.

“He was so close to the final. The top 35 went though and he was in 36th place but that’s sport for you. I’m very proud of him anyway, he has done so well,” she said.

“We wanted to go over earlier, on the day that the individual event started on Saturday, but I had work commitments and so did Brian but it was great to make it over.”

This isn’t her first time at the Olympics though — she previously attended some of the events at the Athens 2004 and said it was a “brilliant atmosphere.”

The birthday celebrations started early for the blonde model, who’s married to RTE presenter Brian Ormond.

She hit the town with a posse of gal pals on Saturday night after popping in to No 37 Dawson Street for dinner and drinks.

Pippa was joined at the bash by pals including Rosanna Davison, Roz Purcell, Nadia Forde and Sara Kavanagh.

She then flew to London and booked into the swish Soho Hotel as a birthday treat. Tomorrow she’ll be joined in London by several members of her family with plans to have a birthday lunch in Greenwich with them.

She also plans to meet up with London-based pal, presenter Brian Dowling, who she got to know through Celebrity Salon.

Kildare-born Pippa has got her teeth into her own sporting challenge, RTE’s Celebrity Bainisteoir.

She has been charged with mentoring GAA team Naomh Brid in Ballintra — and said it’s been going well so far.

“We’ve been having a laugh but it is hard work. We’re in the middle of it now and it’s tough going.

“Thankfully the lads are all so nice to me. I’ve been very lucky with the team they gave me, they’re all lovely polite Donegal guys,” she said.

“I’m getting on well and am actually surprising myself with all the new things I’m learning.”

And she said that while she may be married to one of her rivals, she’s determined to beat hubbie Brian, who’s mentoring Rochfortbridge in Westmeath.

“Absolutely, it will be all guns blazing between the pair of us.

“He wouldn’t go easy on me so I’m not going to go easy on him,” she said.

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