Show jumper Bertram Allen earned the keys to a car yesterday as he continued his drive to break into World top-10 by winning the grand prix at Dortmund, Germany.
The 19-year-old Wexford rider moved up three places last week to 11th — helped by his win in the World Cup class at Bordeaux, France, in February — in the rankings, which are based on results for the preceding 12 months.
However, he was not counting his chickens yesterday, knowing that points earned in March of last year with his fifth place in the grand prix at ’s-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch) in the Netherlands will be dropped when the next rankings are calculated.
“Today’s win was great, but I will probably have to do a bit more to break into the top 10, in that I had a good March last year, particularly at Den Bosch, where I had a fifth in a higher-ranked grand prix.
“I intend to go to do Den Bosch again next weekend and try to at least match my result from last year,” said Allen, who had travelled from Spain, where is nurturing young stock on the Sunshine Tour.
He said being in the top-10 would rate as “a big thing” for him.
“It would be a great achievement. I won’t change my plan in terms of suiting the horses to achieve it, but if I get into the top 10, well, that would be great,” said Allen, who has qualified with ease for next month’s World Cup final in Las Vegas.
He conceded that being among show jumping’s elites eased his access to the top events in Europe.
“Last year, at this time, I was bursting trying to get into shows, but now I am welcomed at most, but being in the top 10 would definitely be a help.”
Allen’s win yesterday came with the amazing Romanov, the 17-year-old that carried him to victory in Bordeaux.
One of seven to make the jump-off from a start-list of 50 , he came home with almost half a second to spare over Germany’s Marion Stevens on Brooklyn.
Hie mentor, Germany’s Marcus Ehning, is ninth in the Longines World Rankings, but he was on hand with advice for the teenager.
“Marcus is a good help, even today, he was there to give pointers. That can make all the difference sometimes,” said Allen.
In Florida, Irish riders found the $375,000 World Cup contest a tough ask. So much so, that Tipperary’s Kevin Babington and Shorapur proved best of the bunch with nine faults, followed by Offaly’s Darragh Kenny (Valencia, 13flts), Cork’s Shane Sweetnam (Chaqui Z, 17flts), Kilkenny’s Richie Moloney (Slieveanorra, retd). A three-horse jump-off saw Britain’s Ben Maher (Diva II) come out tops.
Killossery Lodge in Dublin, saw Nicola Fitzgibbon (Poker des Dames) come out tops in the second of a weekend double-header in the Connolly Red Mills/HSI Spring Tour, proving faster by a tenth of a second than James Hogg (Interpreter).
Eddie Moloney rode MHS La Scala to victory in the fourth leg at Wexford Equestrian Centre on Saturday.
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