Strong rumours have been circulating for weeks that the Irish Sport Horse MHS Going Global had been sold to Greek shipping heiress Athina Onassis, who competes for her country at the top level of show jumping.
Rider and co-owner Greg Broderick finally confirmed the sale today on his Facebook page.
While no exact details of the sale have been revealed, it is thought that any such transaction would be in the realm of millions of dollars, and may well constitute the highest price ever paid for an Irish-bred show jumper.
MHS Going Global is listed as being jointly owned by Canadian Lee Kruger’s Caledonia Stables and Ireland’s Ballypatrick Stables, the home of its Irish rider. Kruger has gone on record in the past to say that Broderick has a ten per cent share in all her horses, so it is likely that the Irishman will receive a considerable financial benefit from the sale.
The Irish-bred horse showed promising international form with a series of double-clear rounds in Nations’ Cup outings for Ireland during 2015 and 2016, but was still a surprise Rio Olympic selection by High Performance Manager Robert Splaine for the single individual show jumping place earned by the country. Going Global finished in 50th place at Rio with 13 faults after just two rounds of the possible five in which it could have jumped.
The ten year-old horse has since put in impressive performances in five-star events in Spruce Meadows and Barcelona, but its value may not be based solely on results. Industry insiders point to a growing trend in the market for horses with fluidity and ease of riding to achieve high prices, and there is little doubt that Broderick, known for his ability to successfully produce young horses, has achieved one of his greater triumphs with Going Global.
Now that the horse has been sold to the Greek rider, Ireland will have lost one of its Nations’ Cup stars, and Going Global may not be seen in these competitions again riding under the Irish flag.
Broderick said today on Facebook: “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 in the height of his career.
“I’d like to wish his new owner Athina Onassis all the luck with him and a big thank you to Lee Kruger for the opportunity to ride this great horse.”
Going Global was bred by the late Ita Brennan of Kilkenny and sold to Lee Kruger as a five year-old.
Thirty-one year-old Athina Onassis, who is based in the Netherlands, is the only surviving descendant of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. She organises the annual Athina Onassis International Horse Show in St Tropez, France, as well as participating herself in prestigious series like the Global Champions’ Tour.