Equestrian: Two Irish riders finish in the top five in Mexico City
Betram Allen and Shane Sweetnam inside the top five of the five-star speed class
Bertram Allen finished inside the top five in Mexico City. Photograph: Tommy dickson/Inpho
Show jumping’s lucrative Longines FEI Global Champions Tour has moved to Mexico City where, on Thursday evening local time, two Irish riders finished inside the top five of the five-star speed class, the first leg of this round’s champions league.
The 1.50m/1.60m competition was won by Colombia’s Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo on Ulhane de Conde when he was home clear in 71.85 ahead of Belgium’s Jerome Guery on Celvin (72.29), with Germany-based Wexford native Bertam Allen, riding Ballywalter Farms’ 15-year-old Kannan mare Molly Malone V, finishing third in 72.57. The Slovakian rider, Bronislav Chudyba, was next fastest on New York (72.67) while, having travelled down from Florida, Co Cork-born Shane Sweetnam slotted into fifth with Kirschwasser SCF (73.57).
Representing Valkenswaard United, Allen (the world’s top-ranked rider under 25) and Italy’s Alberto Zorzi, who was clear with Contanga in 79.23, top the league standings after round one on a zero score on 151.80 ahead of the Paris Panthers (0, 153.50) and the Shanghai Swans (0, 153.53) represented by Sweetnam and Sweden’s Peder Fredricson. The Miami Celtics duo of Ireland’s Shane Breen and Michael Duffy are lying ninth of the 16 teams at the halfway stage having had one fence down in 155.51.
Earlier in Europe, there were wins for Tipperary’s Greg Broderick on the Irish Sport Horse stallion LVS Wizard in the 1.45m speed class at Oliva in Spain; for Alex Butler riding Umours Batilly in the 1.45m two-phase class at Kronenberg in The Netherlands, where the Co Meath native is now based; and for Co Cork’s Ryan Sweetnam on the ISH eight-year-old Kilcummin Cruise in the 1.20m pony class at the underage international in Lier, Belgium.