It will be a first Badminton and first four-star for Irish Olympic rider Padraig McCarthy (40). Padraig, who hails from Tipperary in the south of Ireland, is based at Warren Farm, near Okehampton in Devon where with his wife Lucy (nee Wiegersma) they run MGH Sport Horses – an equine breeding, training and trading business. Last year with Mr Chunky Padraig was 7th in the CCI3* at Blenheim – Lucy completed Burghley 2015 on Mr Chunky.
Padraig has been involved in horses from a young age. He learnt his trade under the guidance of Rolf Goran Bengtsson, Max Hauri, and Hans Horn and then spent almost ten years showjumping and training horses of all levels at different stables around Europe and in the USA.
In 2003 Padraig made the decision to go to university to study business, gaining a first class honours degree in Economics and Finance with German in 2008. At this point he was offered a scholarship to undertake a research project which turned into a PhD study of business insolvency laws in Ireland.
Having published book chapters and academic journals, Padraig turned down the opportunity to take on an academic career to focus on his main passion in life – horses. Since basing himself at Warren Farm full time in 2013, Padraig has turned his attention to eventing, producing and selling horses.
Padraig rode at his first BE event in 2013 and has risen through the ranks remarkably quickly. By the end of the 2015 season he had ridden for Ireland on Nations Cup teams, including the team that placed 4th at Aachen and the only Irish team to win an FEI Eventing Nations Cup at Boekelo. He was a member of the 2015 Irish European Championship team at Blair Castle and in 2016 he had his first wins at three-star level, claiming victories at both Chatsworth and Tattersalls. As a result of his achievements Padraig was selected for the Rio Olympic Games on both of his top horses, Simon Porloe and Bernadette Utopia.
Padraig and Lucy set up MGH Sport Horses in 2014. They have a three-year-old son, Moss. Padraig enjoys DIY and breeding horses.
Mr Chunky is a 13-year-old British-bred SHB-GB registered gelding. He is by the influential stallion Jumbo (sire of Badminton winner Headley Britannia and four-star horses Avebury, Allercombe Ellie, Henry Tankerville, Jollybo and others). He is out the thoroughbred mare Avin Fun Bar by Sergeant Drummer. He was bought from his breeder Sue Trump by Lucy and produced by Lucy to four-star level – the pair completed Burghley in 2015 – and Padraig took the ride at the beginning of 2016. Last year they were 7th at Blenheim. Chunky is described as ‘a regular guy with no quirks or peculiarities’.
16.3hh , bay , gelding
Dam Avin Fun Bar (Sergeant Drummer)
Breeder Sue Trump
Huw Lloyd, London
Christopher & Sarita Perkins, Falmouth, Cornwall
Lucy Wiegersma, Beaworthy, Devon