wexford teenager Bertram Allen secured an impressive victory in the 1.40m Junior Grand Prix at Hengelo in the Netherlands yesterday riding his trainer Billy Twomey's Wild Thing L.
The 16-year-old, who won individual gold and team silver at the European Pony Championships in 2010, and double-silver at the 2011 Europeans, is one of the most exciting talents to emerge on the Irish circuit in recent years.
Although still eligible for pony competition, he showed yesterday that he is ready to progress to Junior level when, from a field of 50 top-class contenders, he steered his mare home with almost a two-second lead over Dutch runner-up Jesper Romp.
German-based Allen has been training this season with British-based Twomey who, on Friday night, won the Rolex IJRC Top-10 Final in Paris.
On Saturday at the 5-Star French fixture, Denis Lynch guided Night Train into pole position in the 1.45m Two-Phase competition, but a single fence-error ended his chances in yesterday's Rolex Speed Challenge.
Penelope Leprevost took the €75,000 winner's purse for France in yesterday's Grand Prix when first-round single mistakes denied Lynch and Twomey.
Meanwhile at Wellington in Florida, Cork rider Shane Sweetnam won Friday's $31,000 G&C Farm Classic riding Little Emir and, on Saturday, Kilkenny rider Richie Moloney finished seventh with Slieveanorra in the $50,000 World Cup qualifier.