‘A true legend’: former European champion showjumper dies aged 87

  • Tributes have been paid to former European champion British showjumper Paddy McMahon, who has died at the age of 87.

    Paddy, who enjoyed huge success and popularity at the height of his career, died suddenly and peacefully, in the company of his three children, Patricia, Elizabeth and Peter, on Sunday (4 April).

    Paddy and Penwood Forgemill dominated the sport in the 1970s, including winning, in one six-day period in 1973, individual gold at the European Championships at Hickstead, and the Horse & Hound Cup and the King George V Gold Cup at the Royal International Horse Show.

    The combination enjoyed success in grands prix and Nations Cups across the world. They were on the British team that won the Dublin Horse Show Nations Cup leg in 1973 and 1975; Britain also won in 1974, and the hat-trick meant they kept the Aga Khan trophy.

    His granddaughter Laura Lane told H&H: “He was a grandfather and great-grandfather, a brother and loyal friend to many. As a family we are super proud of what he achieved. He was a legend, a gentleman, professional and inspirational. Horses were his life.”

    Frank Waters, author of The Golden Age of Show Jumping, said Paddy had been a friend for over 55 years.

    “It hurts to have lost such a wonderful person in my life,” he said.

    Continues below…

    “Paddy was the kindest, sweetest, most giving and humble man anyone could have the honor of knowing. In all of those years I never heard a bad thing said about him; he was always the ultimate gentleman and so humble. My thoughts at this time are with his family, friends and all his adoring fans around the world. I could not have been happier and more proud when Paddy agreed to write the forward in my book with Harvey Smith.

    “Paddy is no doubt riding his great horse Penwood Forgemill around the streets of Heaven and having a wonderful reunion with many showjumping stars and greats of the past. A true and amazing legend of the Golden Age of Show Jumping.”

    A spokesman for Hickstead added: “We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and all of his friends. Thank you for the memories.”

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.

    You may like...