Bertram Allen shows his class to win Dublin Grand Prix

Wexford teenage star shows precision timing in jump-off as Dublin Horse Show ends

Bertram Allen, on Molly Malone, Ireland’s winner of the Longines International Grand Prix on the final day of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS today. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill

Bertram Allen, on Molly Malone, Ireland’s winner of the Longines International Grand Prix on the final day of the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS today. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill


There was Eddie Macken, and now there is Bertram Allen – the 19-year-old superstar of world showjumping. Once again, the German-based Wexford teenager delivered an exhibition in how to win the Dublin Grand Prix in one easy step today, the final day of the Dublin Horse Show, despite heavy rain and sticky ground.  

Watching from the stands, course builder Alan Wade groaned as heavy rain poured on the track, but the ground stood up and eight riders delivered clear rounds. Allen collected a new suite of Longines watches, €66,000 and the Irish Trophy with the grey English bred mare Molly Malone, sired by the French stallion Kannan, owned by his own Ballywalter Farms.  

Beating US star Kent Farrington was no problem to the teenager, with his precision timing, in the jump-off. He said: “I watched Kent and he was very smooth, I found myself on a flyer coming into the double and thankfully it worked out. Molly Malone and I have a great connection – she always tries her best.”  Farrington collected €40,000 for second place and said: “The Americans have had a great show here today and in Hickstead. I hate being second but to be beaten by a round like that is great sport.”  

French riders Timothée Anciaume and Jérôme Hurel tied for third place.  

Heavy rain resulted in many horses scratched from the start list, but an opening clear from Swedish-born Alexander Zetterman with Cafino showed style. Zetterman’s mother Aisling is from Dublin.  

It was US Nations Cup-winning team member Jessica Springsteen from New Jersey who produced the second clear, with Anciaume on board his grey Kannan stallion Padock du Plessis also going clear.  Capt Michael Kelly with Ringwood Glen tipped two fences, with Jonathan Gordon kicking out three poles and Ardee man Mark McAuley hitting fence five.

Trevor Breen with Adventure de Kannan, the third of Kannan’s progeny, was also unlucky while Cian O’Connor retired after fence 10B. Jerome Hural with Quartz Rouge and Colombian extrovert Daniel Bluman’s Apardi ignored the weather and showed clean scores, while Cameron Hanley and Living the Dream also went out of the reckoning.  

Kent Farrington on Uceko USA galloped to an easy clear while retirements came from GB’s Scott Brash and Pieter Devos. Cool-headed Bertram Allen and the eager-to-please and accurate Molly Malone gave Ireland their only clear as 38th to jump.  

It was 67-year-old nine-times Olympian Ian Millar who produced the eighth clear over Alan Wade’s track of mostly 1m 60 fences. “I did admit I worried about the rain, ” said Wade. “I  saw there was flooding everywhere in town and I didn’t relax until the competition was over.”

 In the twisting, turning jump-off, Zetterman with Cafino tipped the Celtic oxer on the left turn at fence four in 42.28, while Springsteen also faulted at the same fence and clipped another two for 12 faults in 42.01.  Both Frenchmen Anciaume on Padock du Plessis and Jérôme Hurel with Quartz Rouge went into equal first place in 42.59, delivering faultless lines and sharing the same time. Daniel Bluman tried hard for third place in 42.89 while Farrington took the lead with a clear round in 40.97.

 But Bertram Allen had that studious look on his face knowing well that the time could be bettered. Molly Malone never looked in better form and, ears pricked, covered the ground with Allen well in control and determined to cut corners to gallop fast from three strides to the last oxer in a mind-blowing time of 39.67.

 The crowd was ecstatic. Leading international rider of the show was Cameron Hanley, who also took leading Irish rider prize. Greg Broderick was the leading national rider.

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