Saturday 18 November 2017

From the Rio Olympics to the Onassis stables: Going Global breaks records

Olympic showjumper Greg Broderick on Going Global at Ballypatrick near Thurles, Co Tipperary Photo: Sinead Ni Riain
Olympic showjumper Greg Broderick on Going Global at Ballypatrick near Thurles, Co Tipperary Photo: Sinead Ni Riain
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

From the Olympics to the Onassis family in just a few months. After competing for Ireland at Rio, the country's most valuable ever horse has been sold to one of the world's most prestigious stables.

The granddaughter of the celebrated Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis has bought Olympian Greg Broderick's horse, Going Global.

Athina Onassis, who paid €10-12m to buy Going Global Photo: REUTERS/Bruno Domingos
Athina Onassis, who paid €10-12m to buy Going Global Photo: REUTERS/Bruno Domingos

The record-breaking sale, in the region of €10-12m, was completed yesterday when the horse left the stables outside of Thurles, Co Tipperary.

A fortnight ago, renowned showjumper Athina Onassis flew into Shannon Airport on her private jet. She was chauffeur driven to Ballypatrick Stables where she rode the horse and examined him with her advisers. After passing all resulting medical tests, the sale was completed for a fee believed to be the biggest ever for an Irish horse, making it one of the most expensive showjumpers in the world.

The horse was 90pc owned by Canadian breeder Lee Kruger and 10pc by Mr Broderick.

Going Global's most celebrated hour came in the Aga Khan at the Dublin Horse Show in 2015 when Mr Broderick rode a double clear round to help win the coveted Nations Cup.

The 10-year-old gelding was bred in Ireland at Mill House Stud in Gowran, Co Kilkenny.

There were mixed emotions at Ballypatrick as Mr Broderick described Going Global as "the horse of a lifetime".

"It's been an unbelievable journey for us right from novice classes to making dreams come true with Olympic Games and Nations Cup wins," he said.

Mr Broderick said Going Global had given the Irish horse world "something to be very proud of".

"He was part of the family here at Ballypatrick and like a best friend to me. He will be hugely missed but it was a logical decision to sell him at the height of his career," he said.

Mr Broderick is now planning to develop his stables, where there are 45 horses riding out and 300 horses on the farm.

After seeing the development of Going Global over the past five years, Mr Broderick feels the horse is now peaking.

"He always had the makings of a superstar. I felt from the start he would make an Olympic horse. He really was a horse for the big day," he said.

But Going Global's bloodline lives on at Ballypatrick. After qualifying for the Olympics, Mr Broderick had a charity auction for a three-quarters brother of Going Global, which raised €35,000 for Crumlin Children's Hospital, the Jack and Jill Foundation and the Suir Haven cancer charity.

The foal is still at the stables and attracting a lot of hype.

Irish Independent

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