Wednesday 22 January 2020

One million bienvenue for Irish horsey set

Champagne champions: Caroline Sleiman and Tamso Doyle at the Pre-Aga Khan owners' reception held in the residence of the French Ambassador to Ireland
Champagne champions: Caroline Sleiman and Tamso Doyle at the Pre-Aga Khan owners' reception held in the residence of the French Ambassador to Ireland

The French Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault was really spoiling us at the launch of Team Ireland's participation in the World Equestrian Games.

The horsey set piled into his plush Ailesbury Road abode on a sun-soaked Thursday evening.

"It's an evening of celebration, of Champagne and of champions," Jeanne-Pierre said proudly.

Guests were served up fizzy and frothy French Bellinis as they pottered about the grounds while chef Caomhan de Bri kept everyone suitably sated with moreish crab rillettes and quail egg canapés.

"Aren't they scrumptious?" Lucinda Creighton asked before telling us about her holiday plans and love of the French language. "The culture is so rich, not to mention the food," she said.

Olympic show jumping champion Cian O'Connor, president of the RDS, Matt Dempsey, and Caroline Sleiman of Moët Hennessy worked the room, while event rider Jim Newsam arrived with his new wife, Emma.

The 2014 games will take place in Normandy; the "heart of French horse breeding" according to Jean-Pierre.

"One million bienvenue to Team Ireland," he said, raising a glass of Champagne in the air.

"Let's hope we taste victory and our fabulous Normandy wines."

- KBK

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