This week, the 2016 Spring MET resumed after a one-week-break. Several of the world’s best riders have travelled to Oliva for the second part of the 2016 Spring MET that runs through to 28.2.2016. On the start lists are big names such as reining Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat, 2011 European Champion Rolf-Göran Bengtsson as well as 2013 European Champion Roger Yves Bost.
It was Ireland’s Clem McMahon that stole the limelight today though, as the first MET II-cycle of the young horse competitions concluded. In the 7-year-old class the Irish rider took home the victory aboard Pacato, while he ended up sixth on Pacifico. In the 6-year-old class McMahon and Hilton Alibi became runners-up – close behind France’s Harold Boisset and Katinka van de Meyhoeve. Remarkably, all of McMahon’s three horses are sired by his late stallion Pacino.
“I have had a super day today, and the fact that all three horses are sired by Pacino makes it extra special,” Clem McMahon stated after his outstanding performances at the wonderful showgrounds in Oliva. In 2012, Clem McMahon and Pacino delivered some outstanding performances – including winning the Nations Cups at Dublin and Hickstead. In February 2013, the now legendary Pacino sadly passed away after suffering from colic. “Most of the horses I bought young, so it has been a long journey. I was always hoping they were good horses, but now I start think they will become three really good Grand Prix horses.”
For Clem McMahon, the 2016 Spring MET has been excellent so far. “I am here with ten horses, of which five are sired by Pacino. I must say the young horses are going fantastic out here. The courses are great; the first day was nice and simple, the second day asked a bit more and today was a really good test for all age groups. Since the ground is unbelievable and the fences are wonderful, the young horses can really improve.”
Clem McMahon will stay in Oliva for both MET II and MET III. “I will go home in between the tours, but the horses will obviously stay here. I am really enjoying myself out here.”
Riding great talents like Pacato, Pacifico and Hilton Alibi, Clem McMahon has high hopes for the future. “I am really blessed. I don’t think I ever had a collection of horses as good as I have at the moment.”
In the 7-year-old class, McMahon defeated Belgium’s star Constant Van Paesschen riding the Diamant de Semilly-son Duanda of the Lowlands Z. Switzerland’s top-rider Marie Etter Pellegrin and Quitney (Quintender x Argentinus) finished third.
The 6-year-old class was dominated by France’s Harold Boisset, who not only won the class but also finished third. Riding Katinka van de Meyhoeve (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Val T’Horens van de Padenborre), Boisset turned out to be 0.08 seconds faster than McMahon and Hilton Alibi. Aboard the Corland-daughter Katinka vh Valenberghof, Boisset ended up third.
Ireland’s Ivan Dalton and Lady in Black (Clinton I x Contender) won the 5-year-old class by over two seconds, while Belgium’s Lieven Devos and Mr. Quality Z (Mr. Blue x Casall) settled for the runner-up position this time around after a fantastic run during Spring MET I. Irish rider Shane O’Reilly took both the third as the fourth spot, riding Belga du Thot (Mozart des Hayettes x Rosire) and Birdy du Thot (Magic d’Elle x Le Tôt de Semilly).
Photo credit: Photos © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.