The young horses concluded their three weeks of competition at the 2016 Spring MET III in Oliva today, with the finals being staged in the Valencia Arena. Ireland’s Clem McMahon turned out to be a dominating force with his youngsters – all sired by his late Grand Prix stallion Pacino. During the 2016 Spring MET II, McMahon worked his way to the top of the ranks and today he took the victories in the finals for both the 7-year-old and 6-year-old horses.
In the 7-year-old final McMahon’s winning partner was the Irish bred chestnut Pacato (Pacino x Cavalier Royale). But, that was not Clem’s only successful 7-year-old in today’s final as Pacifico (Pacino x Aldatus Z) finished third. “Today’s class was the biggest test for the 7-year-olds until now, which I think is a good thing at this stage of the tour. My horses have been here now for six weeks and they are still jumping really good. It obviously is a very good sign that they are still producing clear round after clear round following six weeks of showing,” said the winner.
Talking about the 7-year-olds Pacato and Pacifico, it is clear that McMahon has high hopes for both of them. “Both jumped top class again! I really think they will be proper Grand Prix horses in the future, whether it will be with me or if they would be sold. I have no preference for one or the other, since they are really similar: They are scopey, careful blood horses and are beautiful, tall types.”
The only rider who could get in between Clem McMahon’s future stars was his compatriot Jonathan Gordon. The Irish talent settled for runner-up position aboard Jeckle (Darco x Morgan).
In the final for 6-year-old horses it was all about McMahon and the mare Hilton Alibi (Pacino x Hermes de Reve). A fun fact is Hilton Alibi’s pedigree, as Pacino and Hermes de Reve were both bred out of the mare Dira Courcelle and were both competed at Grand Prix level by Clem McMahon himself. “Hilton Alibi is a very special mare too. She jumped sixteen classes here, and did not have one fence down! Last year she had a foal, so initially we just brought her over here to gain experience. She got up to speed really quickly, and won several classes and had many high placings,” McMahon continues.
Clem McMahon will return home after Sunday’s Grand Prix. “The young horses will take it easy for a while when we get home. Some of them we will be aiming towards the Dublin Horse Show, and maybe the World Championships in Lanaken later on this year. We will see what the future brings!”
Although Clem McMahon’s business is selling horses, he still has hopes to keep one of his talented youngsters for the highest level. “I have some very, very good memories of jumping Nations Cups and Grand Prixs aboard Pacino back in 2012. It would be great to do that again someday,” McMahon concludes.
United States’ Cynthia Hankins made it a back-to-back win in the final for the 5-year-old horses aboard her Calirado – sired by Calido I. After winning last week’s 5-year-old class on Thursday, she ended up on top again in today’s final. Dutch rider Ivo Biessen and Evita van de Kruishoeve Z (Elvis Ter Putte x Clinton) finished in runner-up position with a difference of only 0.11 seconds. Ireland’s Francis Connors and the Dutch bred Goya (Padinus x Cavalier) settled for third place.
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