Ireland gambling on success for show jumper Bertram Allen in Las Vegas

German-based rider is sole Irish representative at World Cup final

Wexford's Bertram Allen is Ireland's sole representative at

this week's Longines FEI World Cup show jumping final in Las Vegas, for which 42 riders have qualified.

The 19-year-old, who is based in Germany, will compete with the grey mare Molly Malone V, an 11-year-old by Kannan which is owned by the rider’s family.

The Irish combination won a qualifier at Verona in November, with the rider securing his place in the final when claiming a second leg of the series at Bordeaux in February, on board Billy Twomey’s Heartbreaker stallion Romanov.


Allen, who is now at number 10 in the FEI world rankings, with 71 points, finished second in the western European league, behind Switzerland's Olympic champion Steve Guerdat (77), who filled the runner-up spot in the final two years ago in Gothenburg. Successful then was the US's Beezie Madden, one of four American women to win the final, who will again be in action.

Germany holds the record for most wins in the series with 10 in total and the country's Daniel Deusser is out to defend the title he won last year in Lyon with Cornet d'Amour.

The American riders will have plenty of support on home ground and featured among them is the 2012 champion Rich Fellers, winner of the North America west coast league, and his Irish-bred Flexible. The 19-year-old stallion by Cruising has overcome serious injuries and illnesses but remains very competitive.

Should Allen, who turns 20 in August, take the World Cup title, he will become the first Irish rider to do so. Trevor Coyle was runner-up in 1999 with the aforementioned Cruising while Jessica Kuerten filled the same slot seven years later with Castle Forbes Libertina.

Some 40 horses from Europe and Qatar, with an estimated total value of €150 million, were flown out of Schipol Airport in the Netherlands on Saturday to compete in the show jumping and dressage finals. In the latter discipline, Britain's Charlotte Dujardin bids to defend her title.