Lunch at the Races

It was a full house at the annual ‘Lunch at the Races’ on 14th June 2017.  The event, jointly organised by ABIE, Networkirlande, the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the France Canada Chamber of Commerce, took place at the Auteuil racecourse where guests were invited to walk the course before enjoying an apéritif on the marvelous terrace in the sunshine.

The lunch was held in the private Salon Mandarin, on the top floor of the main stand at the Hippodrome d’Auteuil which offers expansive views over the racecourse and towards Paris, with the Eiffel Tower prominent in the background.  Spread over 18 hectares, the Hippodrome d’Auteuil is located in the Bois de Boulogne and designed exclusively for steeplechase racing.

Incoming President of Networkirlande, Richard Dujardin, commenced proceedings with a warm welcome to all the participants before Guy de Fontaines, Owner Development Manager at France Galop, talked to guests about racing in France. France Galop manages and controls the thoroughbred horse racing industry in France. It manages and operates six racecourses that are among some of the most renowned in the world: Longchamp, Auteuil, Chantilly, Saint-Cloud, Maisons-Laffitte and Deauville, as well as three training centres reserved exclusively for thoroughbred racehorses: Chantilly, Maisons-Laffitte and Deauville. Guy explained the important role it plays in promoting the improvement of the racehorse breed, and Networkirlande guests were pleased to hear that Ireland is the number one market for jump horse breeding, followed by Britain. Olivier Campenon, Franco-British Chamber of Commerce President, thanked Guy for his interesting talk and invited guests to take their seats for lunch and watch the races.

Experts from the PMU were at hand to explain to guests how horse betting works in France and there was much excitement as people placed their bets and rushed to see the race. From time to time whoops of joy were heard as winners were announced.

After the lunch guests were invited on a private tour of the enclosure and stables. It was an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships, make new contacts and forge new friendships. A great time was had by all and it was lovely to see the outfits and hats worn on the day.