As a competitor with three Olympic Medals, including Gold in Sydney 2000 the reigning World Champion was aiming at Athens, which would have been his third Olympic participation, but missed the cut in the recent U.S.Olympic Selection Trials. O'Connor is now concentrating on his new task as president of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).
O'Connor won the Individual Gold Medal in Sydney with Custom Made, and was a member of the Bronze Team with Giltedge, the horse with which he had already earned the Team Silver Medal in Atlanta in 1996. Giltedge was also his partner at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, where they won the Team Gold medal.
O'Connor plans to continue riding at a competitive level "I have a very good show jumper in my stables and also a very promising horse for Dressage. I will concentrate on the Dressage from now one, but the time for international events and team championships is definitely over" he said.
David O'Connor's wife, Karen still competes at the international level. The couple has twice been of the same medal winning US Olympic Team (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000). David's mother Sally is a reputed FEI international judge and is acting as a steward at the Eventing competition of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.