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AMBASSADOR Irish Sport Horse-Irish Horse Gateway hall of fame

General July 18, 2013

Born in Italy in 1937 Graziano Mancinelli enjoyed a long list of Grand Prix and Nations Cup wins throughout an International showjumping career spanning over 20 years. Much of Mancinelli’s International success came aboard Irish bred horses such as The Rock, Turvey, The Rockette, Water Surfer, Oxo Bob, Petter Patter, Doneraile and Impeccable. He participated at five Olympic Games riding a different horse in each. At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Mancinelli rode to victory claiming the individual showjumping gold medal with the appropriately named Irish bred gelding Ambassador. Bred by Waterford’s Tom Clancy Ambassador had previously been ridden successfuly by Ireland’s Tommy Brennan. The pair enjoyed international success and represented Ireland at the 1971 European Championships in Aachen, Germany, placing 10th individually.

The late Tom Clancy senior, or Tomás as he was better known, was born on the family farm in Island Stradbally, Co. Waterford, in December 1918. From an early age Tomás always worked with horses on the farm. Ambassador’s dam was a heavy type working mare that pulled a plough and other machinery on the farm. Tomás was friends with the late Maurice Phelan of Ballinabanogue Stud that stood the Thoroughbred stallion Nordlys. The two were talking and said that they would cover the working mare with Nordly’s to see what they would get. The mare herself was ridden to the stud as it was only a few miles away and in 1963 horseboxes would have been rare.

Ambassador was born in 1964 and was a highly strung young horse. He was sold on to Denis (Dinny) Ryan as a 3 yr old and subsequently passed on to Jimmy McEvoy where he was trained. It was then that Tommy Brennan took up the ride. Ambassador was sold to Frank Kiernan and Tommy Brennan continued to compete on him and to win numerous classes. He was on the Aga Khan team at the Dublin Horse Show in 1970 as a 6 yr old. He was then sold on to Graziano Mancinelli of Italy. He returned to the Dublin Horse Show in 1971 as part of the Italian team and competed once again in the Aga Khan and divided the Puissance the same year where the wall stood at 7ft 1in.

Tomás retired from horse breeding in the early 1970’s and his son, Tom Clancy Junior, inherited his passion of horses and took up the mantle.

As a sport horse breeder Tom Junior has also achieved international success. In 1981 Tom purchased the then two year old Irish Draught filly Mish Lass. Retained as a broodmare her second foal was the 1985 filly by the Thoroughbred stallion Spectrach. Named Bluebird the grey filly went on to represented Great Britain on Nations Cup teams under John Popely at top Nations Cup shows including Aachen, Falsterbo and Rome. In 1997 the Irish Sport Horse mare went on to win the coveted Hickstead Derby.

The bloodlines of Bluebird are still continued in the Clancy family’s breeding programme. TC Miss Cruise, a 2007 Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising, is out of a half sister to Bluebird and has a colt foal by this year by the 2011 Croker Cup winner Financial Reward (IRE) (TB).

The second broodmare on Clancy’s farm is TC Silver Bounce, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse mare by the recently deceased performance Irish Draught sire Grange Bouncer. This damline is a prolific producer of top eventers including horses such as Ashdale Cruise Master (Oliver Townend) and Market Focus (Bill Levett). TC Silver Bounce has recently given birth to a colt foal by Bonmahon Stud’s Thoroughbred stallion Ansiei (ITY). Tom Clancy Junior and his wife Deirdre are current members of the Waterford Sport Horse Breeders Group – a group of sport horse breeders that aim to breed and produce horses that meet the market requirements in Showjumping and Eventing.

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