Saturday 23 September 2017

Allen reigns supreme in thrilling qualifier jump-off

Bertram Allen took victory in a thrilling Longines FEI World Cup qualifying series contest in Bordeaux. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Bertram Allen took victory in a thrilling Longines FEI World Cup qualifying series contest in Bordeaux. Photo: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Irish showjumping sensation Bertram Allen made it a double of wins in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifying series when coming out on top in a thriller at Bordeaux on Saturday night.

Winner in Verona, Italy last November with his great grey mare Molly Malone, the 19-year-old from Enniscorthy arrived at the French fixture with Billy Twomey's 17-year-old stallion Romanov with the intention of simply giving it his best shot.

He joined 11 others in the red-hot jump-off against the clock, including fellow Irishman Denis Lynch with All Star, who dropped one fence second time out.

German ace Ludger Beerbaum set a big target with a brilliant run from Chaman in 37:72 seconds and, second-last into the ring, Allen was chasing that as he set off at a relentless gallop. Well in touch as he cleared the penultimate vertical, the Irishman raced down to the last, and the old horse gave him his all to clear it and clinch victory.

Beerbaum, a six-time Olympian and four-time gold medallist, said: "He was more than a second faster, fantastic work from him!" And the 51-year-old German added: "Looking at Bertram today, I remember how old I am. The first time I competed in Bordeaux was in 1987 and he wasn't even born then."

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