Wednesday 29 March 2017

Rising Irish showjumping star Bertram eyes up Aga Khan win at this year's Dublin Horse Show

Ten-year-old Rhys Williams from Ennis, Co Clare, with his pony Norah and his father Adrian
Ten-year-old Rhys Williams from Ennis, Co Clare, with his pony Norah and his father Adrian
Bertram Allen at the RD
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Generations young and old will descend on the RDS today for the Dublin Horse Show.

Irish rider Bertram Allen from Wexford was readying his horses as he planned for the week ahead.

He will represent Ireland in the Aga Khan on Friday and hopes to continue a fine run of form that has seen him win more than €165,000 already this year.

"It is always special to be a part of the Aga Khan for an Irish rider, it is one of the highlights of the year," said Bertram.

"I have been selected on one of the best horses, Romanov, and he feels in great form, so hopefully we can get something done this week. We have a strong team here with strong riders."

This year, the 20-year-old became the youngest rider to win a round on the Global Champions Tour but said he was excited to ride in front of a home crowd.

"It is the most important show of the year for an Irish rider," said Bertram.

"Everyone has fond memories of here.

"Unfortunately, we don't get to compete in Ireland too often, so it is great to get home and show what we are doing," he added.

Younger riders will also be competing in the junior categories and Rhys Williams (10), from Ennis, Co Clare, was busy with his dad, Adrian, making sure his horses Parc Giggles and Parc Lolita were ready for the test ahead.

Rhys's mother Paula said it was a big week for the family because Adrian was previously the youngest rider to win a national Grand Prix.

She said they were hopeful Rhys would eventually follow in his father's footsteps.

"His dad put him up on a pony at three or four months old and said, 'Doesn't he look good?'" she recalled.

Adrian said the family had put a lot of work in ahead of this year's Dublin Horse Show but added that it was worth the effort.

"The work begins in January but at the start of every year this is what we work towards. We come here each year and would not miss it for the world," he added.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend over the five days of the show, with Ladies' Day tomorrow expected to draw a huge crowd.

Lorna Weightman, stylist at Dundrum Town Centre and TV3's 'Expose', is advising ladies to wear comfortable shoes and an outfit with a lot of detail.

"You will be standing a lot, so if you are wearing a new pair, be sure to break them in at home first," she said.

"Ladies Day fashion is fun, so don't be afraid to experiment with colour, print or textures and try something new."

Irish Independent

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