Malta placed third in the World Clubs Tournament, held at the Generali Open de France in Lamotte-Beuvron, France last week.
The Maltese selection competed against seven countries including France, Italy, Belgium, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Turkey.
The Malta Equestrian Federation sent a team of four riders that was made up of Corinne Gauci, Stephanie Schembri, Stephanie Demanuele and Redeemer Attard and coached by the Malta Equestrian Federation’s coach Ettore Metrangolo.
Though some teams competed on their own horses, the Maltese team hired horses from a club in France and spent two days prior to the competition getting to know their equine partners.
The competition took the form of a Nation’s Cup with three competitive rounds.
The first round, on Thursday, was against the clock and determined the starting order for the day.
Team Malta took a safe strategy, riding slowly, but ending the round with a favourable zero faults and finishing in fifth place.
The second round, on Friday, was a technical clear round course, with very few riders riding clear.
The Maltese team ended with a clear round for Stephanie Schembri, 12 faults for Stephanie Demanuele, four faults for Redeemer Attard and four faults for Corinne Gauci.
The final team score takes the best three scores, leaving Malta with a total score of eight faults and coming in fifth place after the second round.
The third round, which also took place on Friday afternoon, was against the clock.
Stephanie Schembri rode the fastest clear of the team in 63.24 seconds, Stephanie Demanuele also rode clear in 67.71 seconds. Redeemer Attard went for broke and started out with a fast round but got into trouble at the seventh fence and had an unfortunate fall when his horse refused.
Corinne Gauci rode last for Team Malta and finished with a clear round in 66.48 seconds, putting Malta in third place behind winners Italy and Mauritius, who placed second.
Though the team’s times were slower than some of the other competing teams, riding careful clears proved to be what got the team on the podium.
Malta was invited to compete in the World Clubs Tournament by the Federation Francaise d’Equitation (FFE).
The Maltese team was provided the opportunity to compete with the help of funding from the Malta Equestrian Federation and EquestriMalta.
Show jumping is one of the three Olympic equestrian sports, governed by the Federation Equestre International (FEI) – to which the Malta Equestrian Federation is a member, along with Dressage and Eventing.
Jumping is a spectacular mix of courage, control and technical ability that takes horse and rider over 10 to 13 “knockable” obstacles, some of which may be double or treble combinations, with penalties incurred for each obstacle knocked down or refused.
As in all equestrian disciplines, men and women compete on equal terms in show jumping in both individual and team events.
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