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Level-to-point coach Gabe Mahon dies aged 77

  • Gabe Mahon, the point-to-point trainer and arable farmer died on 8 May, aged 77, following a short illness.

    There can be very few people in the point-to-point world who would not know the smartly dressed Mr Mahon.

    His father Jim set up the Point-to-Point Owners Association when he was joint-master of the West Warwickshire Farmers Foxhounds, with Roy Tatlow as his huntsman and a young Gabe whipping-in. The association later became the Point-to-Point Owners and Riders Association.

    Mr Mahon married Catherine (Cate) Reynolds from Broadway, Worcestershire, a successful point-to-point jockey in her own right. The couple had four children, twins Lara and Nellie, and sons Ryan and Leo, who have all been involved in the racing industry.

    One of the many highlights of Mr Mahon’s career in racing was winning the Fox Hunters’ with Blue Cheek, at Aintree during the 1997 Grand National meeting. The horse was qualified in the hunting field by Mr Mahon, and raced by then amateur jockey Robert “Choc” Thornton.

    Other horses trained by Mr Mahon included Chap, who was ridden by his son Leo when becoming the first point-to-point Flat race winner on a licensed racecourse at Aintree in May 2015, and the former hurdler/chaser My Way De Solzen, who won five point-to-points and a hunter chase between 2010 and 2013. Nellie and her husband Nick Pearce are continuing the family tradition, having success in the well-known Mahon green and yellow spots.

    Mr Mahon was a conscientious, neat and tidy arable farmer at Bishopton Hill, outside Stratford. He will be sadly missed by all, for his knowledge of the racing game and the hair-raising antics when he was younger, including paddling in the electrically lit ornamental pool at the NEC Stoneleigh in his dicky suit.

    He is survived by Catherine and their children.

    Mr Mahon’s funeral will take place at 12pm on Monday, 27 May at St Gregory’s, Welcombe Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6UJ.

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