An Irish team representing the Association of Irish Riding Clubs finished in sixth place at the CSO Mondial des Clubs (World Club Tournament) at the Generali Open Clubs de France yesterday (Friday) where fourteen nations took part.
The Irish team of Aisling Dargan (Sky Starlet), Claire Leahy (Diamond Discovery), May Gilsenan (CJs Quest) and Peter Dargan (Temple Cruise) got off to an almost perfect start when the finished the first round with just one time penalty on Thursday afternoon which left the team tied for second place behind the leaders France. Aisling Dargan and Claire Leahy provided clear rounds with Peter Dargan picking up one-time penalty while May Gilsenan provided the discard score.
The final two rounds of the competition took their toll as Ireland dropped down to fifth place after the second round with only Peter Dargan managing a clear round while the remaining riders each returned with a pole on the floor.
The team added a further 8 penalties to finish on 17 in total and tied for fifth place with Mauritius, however, time favoured the African nation to leaving the Irish team in sixth overall.
France, who were leading after the opening round, dropped down to second place after the three rounds after they picked up 8 penalties over the course of the competition while Belgium put up a strong challenge to finish on their second-round total of 5 penalties to claim the title.
The Italians also withstood the pressure in the third round where they had nothing to add to their earlier tally of 12 penalties. This gave them a fence in hand over Chile in fourth on 16.