The British eventing team triumphed in the second leg of the FEI Nations Cup in Ballindenisk, Ireland, at the weekend (24-26 April).
The host nation took second place ahead of the French team, who won the first Nations Cup competition of the season on home soil in Fontainebleau last month (19-22 March).
The British team led France after the dressage and all four Brits went clear in the showjumping. The Irish team also secured four clears and overtook France when Luc Chateau (Propriano de L’Ebat) and Francois Lemiere (Ogustin du Terroir) both had a fence down.
Britain’s Izzy Taylor, who had been in first position after the first two phases, collected 20 penalties when KBIS Starchaser was distracted by another horse on the cross-country and glanced off a narrow fence.
However, Georgie Strang (Cooley Business Time) and Nicky Roncoroni (Stonedge), who were second and third to go in the team, both went clear inside the optimum time. Louise Harwood and Whitsun only added two time penalties to the overall team score.
“Izzy usually finishes best of the team and everyone gets very used to her just going out and doing the business, so this was a good experience for the others,” said team manager Philip Surl.
“Having put in such solid dressage and showjumping performances, it would have been a pity to lose it on the cross-country, so it was a pleasing result and good to get a win in at this early stage of the season.”
Britain’s Emilie Chandler took individual honours riding Gino Royale, with Ireland’s Sarah Ennis (Horseware Stellor Rebound) second and Nicky Roncoroni third.
The next FEI eventing Nations Cup leg is at Houghton International (28-31 May), where last year the British team were beaten by New Zealand and Germany.
1. Great Britain, 143.4
Nicky Roncoroni/Stonedge, 43.3; Louise Harwood/Whitson, 47.8; Georgie Strang/Cooley Business Time, 52.3; (Izzy Taylor/KBIS Starchaser, 70.1)
2. Ireland, 152.3
Sarah Ennis/Horseware Stellor Rebound, 43.2; Joseph Murphy/Westwinds Hercules, 54.3; Sam Watson/Horseware Lukeswell, 54.8; (Aoife Clark/Arco BB, 62.3)
3. France, 159.3
Luc Chateau/Propiano de L’Ebat, 49.1; Francois Lemiere/Ogustin du Terroir, 54.2; Gilles Bordes/Orion de Cavalhac; (Christophe Guillemet/Mach de la Barre, 84.8)
FEI Nations Cup 2015 leaderboard
1= France 19 points
1= Great Britain 19
3= Australia 9
3= Ireland 9
5 Netherlands 7