Team Ireland finished in eight place after a commendable performance at this years CSO Mondial des Clubs (World Club Tournament) at the Generali Open Clubs De France last week.
Ten nations contested the tournament including Algeria, Cambodia, Chile, Great Britain, India, Italy, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Luxembourg along with the hosts France.
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The friendly tournament took place at the Federal Equestrian Park in Lamotte- Beuvron during the 10-day show which attracted approximately 25,000 entries across a multitude of disciplines.
The Irish team from Ross House Riding Club got off to a solid start on their hired horses in the three round World Club Tournament which took place over two days. Stephanie Fitzpatrick (Voronoff Manciais) and Lisa Noble (Lison Du Mottey) both produced clear rounds while Mary Govern (Korjeune) and Lorraine McConnon (Twix) returned with one pole down each to leave the team on 4 penalties.
This left them in eight place but just four penalties adrift from the leading pack of seven nations which included Great Britain, France, Ivory Coast, Italy, Luxembourg, Chile and Algeria who were level on zero penalties.
The competition got much tougher on day two where Team Ireland added another 16 penalties in the second round where Lorraine McConnon jumped the only clear round on Twix for the team.
Their team total of 20 penalties left them in eight place but the leading pack was reduced to just three teams – Italy, Ivory Coast and France. Chile, Luxembourg and Algeria were next best on 8 penalties while Algeria dropped to seventh place after they picked up 16 penalties.
The third and final round got underway after a short break but the competition became more intense and unfortunately the horses tired for Team Ireland as they racked up another 20 penalties. Lisa Noble and Lorraine McConnon both came home with two fences on the floor while Mary Govern improved on her second-round outing when the Mount Nugent resident returned with just four penalties. Stephanie Fitzpatrick was unseated due to an unfortunate incident caused by her stirrup leather breaking during her round.
This left Team Ireland on a total on 40 penalties and left them level with Cambodia, who imprived slightly, but time favoured the Irish on this occasion to leave them where they began in eight place.
At the other end of the competition, Italy proved unbeatable after they finished the tournament with a clean sheet and the deserving winners of the 2017 CSO Mondial des Clubs.
The Ivory Coast claimed the runners up slot after they picked up four penalties in the third round while the hosts France had to settle for third place. The French team tied with Great Britain on 8 penalties but the British team was slower to finish outside the top three in fourth place.
Chile, Luxembourg and Algeria filled fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Team chef d’equipe Robert Murdy said, “each and every rider did our country proud with some of the best riding they have ever done but they missed out on being placed this year. We can be sure that they gave it all they had within their power”
“The hospitality offered to us and the experiences during our time in France are unforgettable. Some fantastic friendships were made and we will have these memories for a lifetime,” he added.
Lorraine McConnon, who jumped a crucial clear round in the second stage, said, ”The whole week was made up of fun, horses and wonderful people. Friendships were made, tears were shed but all in all, the whole trip was a once in a life time experience that will stay with us all for years to come.”
“Taking part in the parade of nations was surreal and going into compete in the big arena with hundreds of spectators was a feeling like no other,” she added.
Lisa Noble, who provided one of the teams clear rounds, said, “Over the course of the week we took part in team events encouraged by the event organisers. These events strengthened our bonds with the other participating nations. We received great support in France and made many friends. Thank you to AIRC for making this a week of a lifetime.”
Stephanie Fitzpatrick said, “I was honoured to be picked to be part of the team, especially with three good friends as my team mates and my coach Robert at my side, who has helped and encouraged me all the way. It’s an experience I will take forward with me onto the next adventure. Thanks to all involved.”
Club secretary Mary Govern said everyone was so friendly and helpful, “The lady of the house where we stayed even came with her family to cheer us on and wave the Irish flag. The atmosphere was amazing and they were all so friendly.”
Generali Open Clubs De France
CSO Mondial des Clubs (World Club Tournament)
Pos Country Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Total
1st Italy 0 0 0 0
2nd Ivory Coast 0 0 4 4
3rd France 0 0 8 8/193.88
4th Great Britain 0 8 0 8/205.32
5th Chile 0 8 4 12
6th Luxembourg 0 8 12 20
7th Algeria 0 16 8 24
8th Ireland 4 16 20 40/212.42
9th Cambodia 20 8 12 40/214.31
10th India 50 46 50 146