Bertram Allen finishes third in FEI World Cup final

Switzerland’s Olympic champion Steve Guerdat claims honours in Las Vegas

Ireland’s Bertram Allen finished third in the Longines FEI World Cup show jumping final in Las Vegas. Photograph: AFP.

Ireland’s Bertram Allen finished third in the Longines FEI World Cup show jumping final in Las Vegas. Photograph: AFP.

 

Wexford’s Bertram Allen was narrowly beaten into third place in the Longines FEI World Cup show jumping final in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Wexford rider went into the concluding stage of the competition in the same position on a penalty score of one but, in spite of a fence down with Molly Malone V, had improved a place to share second spot with Penelope Leprevost at the halfway stage on five penalties.

On board Vagabond de la Pomme, the French rider was one of just six to go clear over Anthony d’Ambrosio’s first round track. Another to leave all the poles intact was Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat with Albfuehren’s Paille.

The Olympic champion started the last day sharing first place on a score of zero with the USA’s Richard Fellers but, disappointingly for the home crowd, the latter picked up eight faults on his 19-year-old Irish-bred stallion Flexible to drop to equal sixth.

The Bellagio vertical at 10 proved the bogey fence in Round B, claiming Leprevost among others. However, it was the second, an oxer, that caught out Allen and Molly Malone and, as they were slightly slower than the French combination, the Irish pairing had to settle for third though also on nine faults.

Last in, Guerdat didn’t have the best of rounds with two down including the last. But, driving for the finishing line, he avoided a time penalty, and thus a jump-off, holding on to claim the title on eight faults.

“I’ve been trying a long time to win this and I’ve come close many times,” said the 32-year-old Swiss rider. “It’s the third time I was in the lead going into the final competition, and today I nearly messed it up again!”

Also at the press conference, Bertram Allen, who was competing in his first World Cup final, commented: “I knew I was in with a reasonable chance this week, thankfully it went really well to plan and it’s great to be on the podium today.

“In the first round I made a mistake but felt she (Molly Malone) jumped quite good, but the second round was a bad round - I got much too close to fence two. But I’m very happy to be here. I’ve had a great week and feel honoured to be sitting up here with these riders at this young age.”

Speaking from Las Vegas, Irish show jumping manager Robert Splaine said: “This was a remarkable achievement in a world championship for a 19-year-old. Taking this third place was an incredible performance and is great for our sport. Bertram himself is a wonderful ambassador for Ireland.”

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