The winning British team (centre), flanked by second-placed Ireland (left) and third-placed France, at Ballindenisk (IRL), second leg of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing 2015.  Photo credit: Tony Parkes/FEI)

Host nation Ireland, finished second ahead of third-placed France who recorded a win in the first competition of the season at Fontainebleau, France last month.

Britain led after the dressage followed by all four riders going clear in the jumping phase. The Irish matched this, overtaking the French, who added eight faults at this stage when Luc Chateau (Propriano de L’Ebat) and Francois Lemiere (Ogustin du Terroir) each had a fence.

Britain’s only moment of weakness came when team pathfinder Izzy Taylor, the individual leader after the first two phases, incurred 20 cross-country penalties when KBIS Starchaser glanced off a narrow fence.

This put pressure on the rest of the quartet, which included two Nations Cup first-timers Louise Harwood (Whitsun) and Georgie Strang (Cooley Business Time). However, Georgie and Nicky Roncoroni (Stonedge), who were second and third to go for the team, both came home clear and inside the optimum time. Louise 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. “They all had to step up to the mark and the competition went to the wire with Louise as anchor.

“Having put in such solid dressage and jumping 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.”

British rider Emilie Chandler riding Gino Royale, took individual honours, with Ireland’s Sarah Ennis aboard Horseware Stellor Rebound second and Nicky Roncoroni third.  

Britain will be hoping to maintain momentum at the next FEI Nations Cup Eventing meeting which is on home soil at Houghton International, where last year they were beaten by New Zealand and Germany.

Results

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 Eventing 2015 Leaderboard after 2 out of 8 events:

1= France 19 points

1= Great Britain 19

3 = Australia 9

3 = Ireland 9

5 Netherlands 7