Equestrian: Bertram Allen opens Ireland’s account in Hong Kong

Wexford rider wins the two senior classes at the five-star Longines Masters

Wexford's Bertram Allen opened Ireland's scoring account on the international show jumping stage on Saturday when winning the two senior classes at the five-star Longines Masters in Hong Kong, on horses owned by his family's Ballywalter Farm.

Allen was eighth to jump with the 10-year-old Indoctro gelding Christy JNR in the day's feature event, the Longines speed challenge over a 1.50m track, and, clear in a time of 60.47, easily took over the lead from France's Roger Yves Bost on Castleforbes Talitha (64.92).

A further 13 riders failed to knock the Irish man from the top spot. The French pair of Patrice Delaveau on Vestale de Mazure HDC and Kevin Staut riding Ayade de Septon Et Hdc came closest when home in 60.88 and 60.94 respectively but, with two time penalties apiece for a fence down, finished even further adrift in second and third.

Earlier in the day, on board the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Izzy By Picobello, Allen shared the honours with three others in the six-bar class for the Masters Power Maserati trophy, each of the four having a fence down in the fifth and final round.


In the United States, a double of victories for Ireland at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida was brought up in the three-star CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m jump-off class by Captain Brian Cournane on Penelope Cruz.

From a starting line-up of 39, seven riders progressed to the timed round in the Derby field where the early standard was set by the USA's Liza Finsness riding Shiver who was clear in 45.256. Co Kerry native Cournane was the only one to better this time, stopping the clock on 44.890 with the USA's Mattias Tromp finishing third on Eyecatcher (45.43).

Penelope Cruz, which is owned by the rider’s parents-in-law, Bob and Christine Stiller, is an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Ustinov. She was bred in Co Derry by Liam McKee out of the Peter Pan mare Tendelin.

“In the jump-off round, I tried to set a fast pace from the start, because really you were galloping jump to jump, and again, the course designer used the full field, which was really nice,” said Cournane, who has had the ride on Penelope Cruz for the past year, after acquiring her from Co Sligo’s Darragh Kerins, who had produced the mare to that point.

“She’s a wonderful, generous mare,” said Cournane of his winning mount. “She’s quite a small mare. Looking at her in the stable, you think she’s a bit of a plain Jane, but when you get up and start jumping her, she’s a great horse. She’s only 16.1, but when you’re on her, she grows! She feels a lot bigger.”

Earlier, Co Derry's Daniel Coyle fared best in the 47-strong Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix series Welcome class when home clear in 64.67 with his own CHS Krooze. The USA's Brian Moggre finished second on MTM Flutterby (64.94) ahead of his compatriot Alex Matz on Cashew CR (65.89).

Another ISH mare, CHS Krooze is a nine-year-old by Kroongraaf and she was bred in Co Clare by Vincent O’Callaghan out of the Cruising mare Cruise Oak.