Monday 26 September 2016

Allen and Whitaker share Miami spoils

Equestrian

Published 11/04/2016 | 02:30

Ireland's Bertram Allen. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Ireland's Bertram Allen. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Bertram Allen joined forces with British legend John Whitaker to win the first leg of the brand new Global Champions League which took place against the stunning background of Miami beach yesterday.

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And it was a thriller to the very end, with Allen having to ride for his life to clinch victory after dropping a pole with Quiet Easy in the second round.

The new-look new-format series, which teams up top riders from around the globe regardless of nationality, attracted 12 teams to this first leg.

Just two of the five riders from each team will line out at each of the 15 events.

Riding under the banner of Valkenswaard United the 20-year-old Irishman and his 60-year-old British counterpart - the youngest and oldest competitors in the class - were joint-leaders on a zero score at the halfway stage.

Miami Glory's Kent Farrington (USA) and Georgina Bloomberg (USA) were also fault-free but faltered when Farrington left a pole on the floor second time out.

So when Whitaker was clear again with Lord of Arabia it seemed Valkenswaard United might have it in the bag.

But a mistake at the second fence saw Allen having to put his foot to the floor and show his unique talent for speed, galloping home to bring the United team tally to four faults in 113.15 seconds when both riders' times were taken into account.

Bloomberg could still snatch it back, but wasn't quite quick enough and when she also hit a fence it was Antwerp Diamonds' Audrey Coulter (USA) and Harrie Smolders (NED) who slotted into runner-up spot.

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