Tag Archives: Bertram Allen

Rolex and Equestrianism: An Enduring Legacy

Photos: Ms. Baade riding Clemens in the Wallküren-Preis at CHIO Aachen, 1930; Isabell Werth riding Satchmo at CHIO Aachen, 2010.

More than 60 years ago, Rolex formed a partnership with the greatest show jumper in history to represent Great Britain, the pioneering Pat Smythe. Winner of more grand prix events in more countries than any man or woman before her, she was the first female rider to participate in the Olympics and the first to win a medal, a team bronze in Stockholm in 1956. Like Rolex, she was an innovator, always pushing back the boundaries of what was possible. In 1957 Smythe joined the Rolex family, becoming its first equestrian Testimonee, marking the start of one of the strongest alliances in the sport. Since then, Rolex’s bond with the equestrian world has grown stronger each year. In 2019, Rolex celebrates several key anniversaries within the sport, with milestones for two elite equine events and two legendary athletes.

ROLEX GRAND SLAM

Rolex’s association with one of the sport’s four prestigious Majors began 30 years ago when it partnered with the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, the annual show jumping competition held in the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Canada. It was here, in 2015, that Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash etched his name in equestrian history by becoming the first and, to date, only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s ultimate prize awarded to the winner of the Grand Prix at three successive Majors. His feat was the result of an unwavering quest for perfection, an unprecedented display of precision and excellence required to win all of these historic Majors.

Preceding the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ is the CHIO Aachen, an event that this year celebrates 20 years of partnership with Rolex. Founded in 1924, this revered event in Germany is the oldest of the four show jumping Majors. Its rich heritage is cherished by the knowledgeable 360,000 fans that annually fill the 40,000-seat open-air stadium over nine days of top-tier competition. Widely considered equestrianism’s “homecoming” event, CHIO Aachen is often likened to The Championships, Wimbledon, being the oldest and most prestigious tournament within the sport. Another quality it shares with the esteemed tennis event, which Rolex is proud to have partnered for more than 40 years, is the unquestionable passion of the spectators who travel far and wide to watch their heroes in action. Isabell Werth is one rider who enjoys superstar status at CHIO Aachen, competing in front of an adoring home crowd whose noisy adulation fills the purpose-built Hauptstadion.

THE QUEEN OF DRESSAGE

Over the years, Werth has become known as “the queen of dressage,” a title bestowed on her due to a glittering career that has helped elevate the discipline to new heights. Werth has won more Olympic medals than any other equestrian athlete in history, 10 in total, six of them gold. Her long list of achievements includes a World Championship victory in 2006 at Aachen, where she was presented with an engraved Rolex Timepiece, and a gold medal for team dressage and a silver for individual dressage at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Speaking of her key achievements, Werth said: “You don’t forget those special moments, even after all these years. Every time I look at my Rolex watch it reminds me of reaching the very top of my sport.”

THE PESSOAS

Another key member of the Rolex family is the Brazilian show jumper Rodrigo Pessoa. Son of Nelson Pessoa, a legendary equestrian athlete in his own right, Rodrigo seemed destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. Commenting on his childhood, Rodrigo says: “My father travelled a lot. Taking me to the shows was a way for us to spend time together and he wanted to see if I would catch the horse and competition bug at a young age, and I did.” As Rodrigo grew up, he had the benefit of his father’s knowledge and expertise to guide him through the highs and lows of being an elite equestrian athlete. Nelson supported his son every step of the way, from the moment he first made an impression on the sport at the age of 19, to winning Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. Rolex also has supported Rodrigo during his decorated career. Throughout this partnership, 20 years old and still going strong, the gifted rider has received many accolades and established himself as one of the most respected names in the sport. Of the partnership, Rodrigo says: “The support from Rolex shows how committed they are to our sport and to raising the level of professionalism. The progress made in our sport over the years has been tremendous and it would not have been possible without Rolex elevating the bar.”

Having competed in the upper echelons of the sport for more than four decades, Pessoa decided to take his career in a new direction towards the end of 2016, turning his focus towards coaching and accepting the highly respected position as Irish Chef d’Equipe. In this role, he found himself mentoring young Irish rider Bertram Allen, Rolex’s youngest equestrian Testimonee. In the same way Nelson imparted his wisdom to Rodrigo, the latter now finds himself tutoring one of the sport’s most exciting prospects. Rolex’s partnerships with key figures in the equestrian community, such as Pessoa, Allen, and Werth, run across generations and continents, enabling knowledge and experience to be shared. Rolex is confident this process will perpetuate a cycle of renewed and enduring excellence, the benefits of which can already be seen through Pessoa’s rapid success as Ireland show jumping team manager, to give one example. Within a year of Pessoa taking the reins, an Irish team featuring Allen claimed team gold at the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg. Coincidentally, Werth took gold in all three dressage categories she competed in at those Championships, once again highlighting Rolex’s wide-ranging support to top equestrian athletes.

YOUNG RIDERS ACADEMY

It is worth noting that these top competitors’ partner with Rolex not only when they are at the pinnacle of their careers, but also as aspiring riders striving to make their name in the sport. Allen, for example, is a graduate of the Young Riders Academy, an initiative supported by Rolex and the most prestigious training course available to young equestrian athletes. Since leaving the Academy, Allen joined the Rolex family of Testimonees and represents a new era of equestrian excellence. They serve as a reminder of Rolex’s long-standing support for human achievement, which can be traced back to the brand’s pioneering roots and is demonstrated by its creation of the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Rolex Oyster.

By nurturing young talent and supporting them as Testimonees on their journey to becoming champions, the Swiss watchmaker’s presence permeates all levels of the sport. The brand’s belief in unlimited human potential, in striving for continuous improvement, is embodied in a word inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. Perpetual. The important equestrian anniversaries being celebrated in 2019 highlight Rolex’s long-standing and continuing commitment to this elegant and historic sport.

Minna Hall
rEvolution
http://revolutionworld.com

Allen Brings Sold-Out Crowd to Its Feet with Last-to-First Victory in Toronto

Bertram Allen and GK Casper. (FEI/Simon Stafford)

Bertram Allen (IRL) landed off the final fence and brought a sold-out crowd to its feet with his victory in the $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto (CAN).

The 24-year-old’s elation was evident as he rode GK Casper to the top of the class in the gelding’s World Cup debut. Last to go in a four-horse jump-off, their winning time over Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) shortened track was 34.70 seconds. Jos Verlooy (BEL) and Igor led until that final ride and settled for second with a 35.41-second time, while Brian Moggre (USA) finished third with MTM Vivre le Reve. After topping World Cup competition in Lexington (USA), they rounded out an international podium with a time of 35.83 seconds.

“That’s what it’s all about. Everyone wants to win the grand prix, last to go, in front of a full house. It was one that I really wasn’t expecting, so it made it all the more sweet.” — Bertram Allen (IRL)

With five riders from the top 15 on the Longines World Rankings in the field, the competition was formidable, but Vaillancourt set a stern challenge. GK Casper was especially eager when meeting the enthusiastic crowd for the first time, but after riding a textbook round, Allen brought back a more relaxed partner for the jump-off. The gelding’s massive stride brought the duo positively flying down the last line and into the lead.

“I was struggling a bit in the first round — all week to be honest,” Allen explained. “He went in on the first day [of the competition], and he was very spooky. He wasn’t supposed to come here as my [top] horse, as I was meant to take another one, and he had to step up a bit. I knew if I got the first round behind me, I wouldn’t have to worry about the jumps as much in the second round. I could really give it a lash.”

Allen has had the 11-year-old for nearly five years, and his patience with the gelding is paying off in spades.

“He’s always been fantastic,” Allen said. “He’s a very good jumper and very careful. It’s taken him longer to get to this height. For most horses, their first season doing this [level] is as 9-year-olds. This is his first season now. I’ve always said, ‘Whatever he can jump, he can win.’ I knew he could be very competitive over here for these few weeks. He had been jumping fantastic, but we were just missing the last bit of luck. It all came through today.”

With his podium finish, Moggre takes over the lead in the east coast sub league standings of the North American League with 56 points. Beezie Madden (USA) sits second with 49 points, and Rowan Willis (AUS) is third with 34 points.

The North American League continues with west coast action in Las Vegas (USA) on 16 November 2019.

FULL RESULTS

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Bertram Allen and Lafayette Van Overis Scoop Up Second Win in $72k Sunday Classic CSI 5*

Bertram Allen and Lafayette Van Overis ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 20, 2019 – Bertram Allen (IRL) and Lafayette Van Overis dominated the $72,000 Sunday Classic CSI 5* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort Sunday, scooping up their second FEI win on the week with a jump-off time of 33.564 seconds. Ali Wolff (USA) and Casall, a 2005 Holsteiner gelding (Casall x Capitol I) owned by Blacklick Bend Farm, earned second on a time of 34.516, while Lillie Keenan (USA) piloted Fasther, the Chansonette Farm LLC-owned 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vigo D’Arsouilles x Farmer), to third on a time of 34.724 seconds.

Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) tested 66 entries over the first-round course, with 14 horse-and-rider pairs welcomed back to challenge the jump-off. Allen, who had already won Friday’s $36,000 Speed Stake CSI 5* aboard Lafayette Van Overis, admitted that he wasn’t really going for the win with his still-green and recently acquired ride:

“This is the first time he’s jumped as big as he did today [1.50m], so I already thought Friday was ‘my’ class, you know. In the first round it was the biggest and most difficult course he’s jumped, but he really put his head down and tried his best. For the jump-off, I wasn’t really watching everybody, because I didn’t want to do something crazy,” Allen revealed, “so I was actually quite relaxed going in. I just wanted to be as fast as I could be, and it worked out, and he’s naturally very fast as well.”

Allen and the 2011 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Tauber an Het Kapelhof) owned by Clee Equestrian & Harrie Theeuwes put in a smooth performance that couldn’t be topped in the end, but since he was so focused on giving Lafayette Van Overis a good ride, he couldn’t quite pinpoint where he won: “I’m not sure exactly where I made up the time, because I wasn’t really watching the others, so I’d have to watch it back, but actually everything just came up nice and smooth, for a change.

“It’s been a very good week,” said Allen. “I’ve placed every day, except in the Grand Prix I had an unlucky four faults, but other than that it’s been fantastic. The pressure’s off now – the trip’s paid for! It’s been a super week.”

From here, Allen isn’t sure how high Lafayette Van Overis will soar, but he’s happy with the willing attitude and work ethic he’s got at the start of their partnership: “I still don’t know how much scope he has in the end, but he’s so smart, and he totally only wants to do the right thing, and when you have one like that, it makes for a great start.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Irish Star Bertram Allen Makes Longines Speed Challenge His Own

Bertram Allen and Christy JNR scorched the sand on his way to winning the Longines Speed Challenge on Saturday night, making it a second victory in the ‘fastest competition in the world” for the Irishman and sending the Hong Kong fans delirious.

Didn’t Allen just love it, too, breaking into a beaming smile after setting a time of 60.47 that proved far too quick – and too good. Behind him came France’s Patrice “King of Hong Kong” Delaveau and Vestale de Mazure*HDC (62.88), while fellow Frenchman Kevin Staut, winner of the Speed Challenge in Paris, and Ayade de Septon*HDC were third (62.94).

“I like to smile when I ride well,” said Allen. ‘I’m delighted and my horse ran superbly. The people here in Hong Kong really love it. They really enjoy their time and watching the horses. I love it.”

Among the many highlights of the weekend so far has been the talent shown by Asia’s rising generation of equestrian stars and they were out in force in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Asian Junior Challenge.

For the first time in the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, a competition over 1m for Asian riders aged under 18, from 4 different Asian nations, gave these emerging talents a chance to compete on the same stage as the greats of the sport.  Indonesia’s Muhammad Akbar Kurniawan rode Easyphighter Dei Folletti to victory and said the experience was a “thrill.”

“I feel great because this is my first time in such an incredible event like the Longines Masters of Hong Kong,” he said. “I hope I can use this experience and go on to the Olympics. I have been watching the stars and it feels great.”

The action on the main arena had begun early afternoon with four riders sharing the prize after a Masters Power Maserati Trophy Six Bar event that had seen the height reach to an astonishing 2.02m.

Again, an Asian rider was to the fore. China’s Ella Wang Yunjing on Aken Utopia joined Great Britain’s Laura Renwick on Top Dollar VI, Pilar Lucrecia Cordon of Spain on Trix Trax, and Irishman Allen on Izzy by Picobello in walking away the winners after failing on the monstrous fence but all clearing 1.92m.

The 21-year-old Chinese rider was still buzzing long after the event had ended, and showed herself to be another Asian star on the rise –and showing the ease with the big occasion of a veteran, in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

“It’s a really good day. I am very happy. It’s my first time doing a Six Bar, and my first time competing in Hong Kong and I was actually pretty nervous but [Aken Utopia] made it amazing,” said Wang.

It wasn’t just the more seasoned stars of equestrian sports who shared the spotlight on Saturday. A mini version of the Longines Speed Challenge was held in the afternoon – incorporating the talents of those kids involved in the 1st Asian Hobby Horse Competition, who tested their speed – and skill – across a specially designed course.

Part of the sales of Hobby Horse sticks has been channeled to the Save the Children Hong Kong, one of a number of fundraising efforts for the charity staged on Saturday and right across the Longines Masters of Hong Kong weekend thanks to the support of EEM.

What a day it was, and as night descended on AsiaWorld-Expo, DJ sets by Jeremie Charlier and then Henri PFR kept everyone moving – and cheering for more.

Jump Media | jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

FEI Secretary General Voices Support for Officials at London Olympia

Lausanne (SUI), 24 December 2015 – FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez has today voiced her full support for the actions of FEI Officials at London Olympia on Monday night (21 December) when Irish rider Bertram Allen was disqualified after blood was found on the flank of his horse, Quiet Easy.

“I have absolutely no doubt that the protocols regarding blood on the horse were followed correctly at London Olympia on Monday night,” Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“Of course this incident has created a considerable amount of discussion on social media because Bertram Allen would otherwise have won the Grand Prix, so there is a high level of sympathy for him, but the FEI Officials were in Olympia – as they are at every event run under FEI Rules – to ensure a fair and level playing field and that the welfare of the horse is protected.

“Blood was found on the flank of Bertram Allen’s horse and, under FEI Jumping Rules, that results in mandatory disqualification. The situation was reported to the Ground Jury by the FEI Steward who had conducted the normal post-competition check on the horse and Bertram Allen was then informed of his disqualification in person by the President of the Ground Jury and the Foreign Judge.

“Let me be clear: disqualification under this rule does not imply that there was any intent to injure the horse, but it is crucial that the rules are enforced in order to ensure that horse welfare ‎is protected.

“It is very easy for any sports official to be criticised when they are simply doing their job. Everything at Olympia was handled correctly and in accordance with the rules, but there is no doubt that it was an unfortunate end to a wonderful event.”

FEI Jumping Rules Article 242.3.1
Mandatory Disqualification
3.1 Horses bleeding on the flank(s), in the mouth or nose or marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse (in minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Disqualification.)

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Statement on Bertram Allen (IRL), on Behalf of Olympia

Following the Olympia Grand Prix CSI5* at Olympia, The London International Horse Show (GBR) on 21 December, 2015, Bertram Allen (IRL) was disqualified by the Ground Jury under Article 242.3.1 of the FEI Jumping Rules when the FEI Steward tasked with the mandatory post-competition boot and bandage control reported to the Ground Jury that Allen’s horse, Quiet Easy, had presented with blood on the offside (right) flank.

An appeal was lodged by Ms Mhairi Alexander who had been appointed by the Rider and Mrs E Phillips, the Owner, to speak on their behalf. The Appeal Committee heard from the Ground Jury, the FEI Steward and the appointed representative of the Rider.

The Appeal Committee upheld the decision of the Ground Jury that Bertram Allen was correctly disqualified from the competition.

The class was awarded to Michael Whitaker (GBR) and Viking.

Appeal Committee President Val Turner (GBR).

FEI Jumping Rules Article 242.3.1 – Mandatory Disqualification – (‘Horses bleeding on the flank(s), in the mouth or nose or marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse’)

For further information, please contact Jo Peck at Hpower Group
E: jo.peck@hpower.co.uk   T: +44 (0)1753 847900
or Hollie Bostock at Revolution Sports & Entertainment
E: hollie@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0) 207 592 1207

Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4 Claim Top Prize in the Longines Speed Challenge

Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4. Photos: Shutterstock Rex for EEM.

Los Angeles, CA. October 2, 2015 – Action at the second day at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles culminated with Friday night’s Longines Speed Challenge. Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4 raced against the clock with a remarkable time of 58.91 seconds. Scott Brash and Piergiorgio Bucci rounded out the podium, Brash with a time of 58.96 seconds on Hello Annie and Piergiorgio Bucci and Cuarta with a time of 62.94 seconds.

The energy was palpable as the microphoned jumps enhanced the sounds of the ring. Every spectator felt the electricity emanating between horse and rider as they raced around the course. 2014 Longines Masters of Los Angeles Longines Speed Challenge winner Jane Richard Philips returned in an attempt to reestablish her dominance but couldn’t keep pace with the 20-year-old Irish phenom.

The only speed competition of its kind in the world, the Longines Speed Challenge with $130,000 in prize money is a staple of all three Longines Masters events, in Paris, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. The emotion and suspense were palpable as top-ranked international show jumpers raced through a course designed by renowned Belgian designer Luc Musette. With the launch of the Longines Masters series, the Longines Speed Challenge introduces the new 1.45m course design that will be carried to the Paris and Hong Kong events, challenging the riders to improve their time at each leg.

The Longines Speed Challenge format created by EEM emphasizes speed by and precision, as each fault is penalized by 2 seconds instead of the standard 4. A fallen rail needn’t be cripping, therefore, and riders can still hope to make up these two penalty seconds by going just a little bit faster.

Scott Brash and Hello Annie
Scott Brash and Hello Annie

“Scott Brash’s round was unbelievable,” said Allen in reaction to watching the World Number 1’s pace-setting round. “My horse really tried.”

John Whitaker rode to victory on Argento in the Prix Airbus, the day’s first 5* level competition. He beat Edwina Tops-Alexander and Lintea Tequila by a mere 0.59 seconds in the jump-off. The win adds to his recent success in the series as the winner of the Gucci Gold Cup and Longines Grand Prix at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong. Whitaker and Argento are in great form and heating up in time to compete in Sunday’s Longines Grand Prix in hopes of winning the second leg of the Masters Grand Slam Super Bonus of €500,000.

“With the way he [Argento] jumped today, I should give him the day off. He’s a fighter; he’s tough. He wants to do the job, and that’s 95 percent of the battle. You know he’s going to jump the jumps,” said Whitaker.

Recent “Veep” Emmy winner Tony Hale, actor Kaley Cuoco, director Steven Spielberg, rock and roll legend Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa and more cheered on their favorite riders from the Masters Club. Steffen Peters performed a dressage demonstration, and families enjoyed the first day of the Kids’ Village with face painting, a mini horseless jump course, and ponies.

The world’s best international show jumpers will continue to compete at the Los Angeles Convention Center throughout the weekend. To witness the champion caliber riding and enjoy the Kids Village, one-of-a-kind art pieces from Opera Gallery and more, purchase your tickets at http://www.mastersgrandslam.com/en/ticketing.

DETAILS:
The Longines Masters of Los Angeles
October 1st to 4th 2015
WEBSITE: http://www.mastersgrandslam.com/en/longines_masters_los_angeles
TICKETING: Tickets are available at http://www.mastersgrandslam.com/en/ticketing.

John Whitaker and Argento
John Whitaker and Argento

ABOUT THE LONGINES MASTERS

Established in three of the biggest cities — Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong — the unique Longines Masters series is recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale and is one of the most prestigious equestrian competitions worldwide. Created by EEM, the concept of the Masters was born in 2009 with the first edition of the Gucci Paris Masters, now renamed the Longines Masters of Paris. Inspired by the Grand Slam tournaments in tennis, the circuit rapidly developed abroad, with the Longines Masters of Hong Kong in 2013 and the Longines Masters of Los Angeles in 2014.

The world’s best riders and horses will compete for one million dollars in prize money at each leg of the series. In addition, any rider who consecutively wins the Longines Masters Grands Prix in Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles will be rewarded with one million euros Masters Grand Slam bonus. For two successive victories, the rider will be awarded €500,000, and winners of two non-successive victories within a series of three Longines Masters Grand Prix will receive a €250,000 bonus.

These events are broadcast in more than 120 countries and reach up to 550 million households.. Every edition of the Masters is must-attend event that brings together sports enthusiasts, amateurs, celebrities and corporate decision-makers from around the world, who come to enjoy a unique experience, boasting exceptional sport, entertainment, glamour, gastronomy and contemporary art.

Longines Masters of Los Angeles October 1st to 4th 2015
Longines Masters of Paris December 3rd to 6th 2015
Longines Masters of Hong Kong February 19th to 21st 2016

Sunshine Sachs
Sarit Schneider | Alyssa Furnari
LAMasters@SunshineSachs.com
212 691 2800 | 323 822 9300

CSI5* of Dinard – Grand Prix of the City of Dinard

Bertram Allen / Molly Malone V (Pixel events)

Incredible scenario for the Grand Prix of the city of Dinard, since the public had to wait for the 22nd contender, Kent Farrington, to ride the course to watch a perfect clear round that finally opened a jump off with five riders. In this small elite group were three French riders, Kevin Staut, Aymeric de Ponnat, and Jérôme Hurel, but also the young Irish prodigy, Bertram Allen, who was celebrating his 20th birthday yesterday, and was riding Molly Malone for the occasion.

After a tough battle, the young rider, definitely unbeatable, clinches victory one more time at the highest level, with disconcerting ease, in a time of 46″54, in front of Kevin Staut (Rêveur de Hurtebise), clear as well, in 46″95, and Jérôme Hurel (Quartz Rouge), who crosses the finish line without a fault, in a time of 49″14. Aymeric de Ponnat has one rail down, and finishes 4th, in front of the American, who scores 12 points. This 2015 edition of the new CSI5* of Dinard will leave a very positive impression, not only to some of the best riders and horses in the world, who will be back, for sure, but also to a record number of 14000 people who showed enthusiastic support to their champions for the Derby and the Grand Prix.

Bertram Allen (IRL), n°1
He is very pleased with his mare. “It was a difficult decision for me to bring her here and not take her to Dublin next week because it is the most important show of the year for us, but I hope this will be a good preparation for the Europeans.”

Kevin Staut (FRA), n°2
Kevin Staut is a little disappointed about the way he rode the beginning of his jump off, where he lost time, but still very happy about Rêveur de Hurtebise HDC.

Jérôme Hurel (FRA), n°3
“When I watched the first riders at the beginning of the class, I thought I would never make it within time allowed, so I am very happy about Quartz, but he always takes a little more time than another horse between and over the jumps, which makes it a little difficult to beat the fastest riders.”

Results: here.

PRESS CONTACT:
Véronique GAUTHIER (Consulis) +33 (0) 672 77 06 00 / veronique-gauthier@club-internet.fr
Frédéric TARDER +33 (0) 607 713 060 / frederic.tarder@lesestivalesdelequitation.com

Bertram Allen Wins First Round of Longines Final with Molly Malone

Ireland’s Bertram Allen and the brilliant grey mare, Molly Malone, won the opening Speed competition of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015 Final at the Thomas & Mack arena in Las Vegas, USA. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Las Vegas (USA), 16 April 2015 – Ireland’s Bertram Allen and the brilliant grey mare, Molly Malone, won the opening Speed competition of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2015 Final at the Thomas & Mack arena in Las Vegas, USA tonight. With a performance that mirrored his surprise success on the opening day of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France last September where he eventually placed individually seventh, the German-based 19-year-old simply left the rest trailing in his wake when going 32nd in the field of 40 starters.

Runners-up were the 2012 FEI World Cup™ Jumping champions, America’s Rich Fellers and the amazing Irish-bred stallion Flexible who, tonight, belied his 19 years of age with a fantastic tour of Anthony d’Ambrosio’s 13-fence track. And there was a divide for third spot when both Patrice Delaveau (Orient Express HDC) from France and Dutchman Jur Vrieling (VDL Zirocco Blue NOP) cleared the line in exactly the same time. Olympic champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, lined up fifth with Albfuehren’s Paille while Frenchwoman Penelope Leprevost filled sixth spot following a copybook round with Vagabond de la Pomme.

No easy task

The course for tonight’s Speed contest consisted of 13 fences, and in the tight confines of the Thomas & Mack arena it proved no easy task to leave all the poles intact. But another budding young talent, pathfinder 19-year-old Jos Verlooy from Belgium, showed it was perfectly jumpable when setting the standard with a great clear in 68.27 seconds with Domino. The first element of the double at fence five, and the triple combination at fence eight were the bogeys of the evening, but plenty of mistakes were also made elsewhere as riders tried to find the quickest route home. And it was the target set by third-to-go Delaveau, and matched by Vrieling who also cleared the line in 66.44 seconds when 20th into the ring, that they were all chasing right down to the closing stages.

Allen’s round was as exciting as it gets, with breath-taking turns combined with rhythm, balance, accuracy and extraordinary speed. He said afterwards that he didn’t get a perfect stride going into the triple combination but that Molly Malone was very clever there. And the young man who has taken the sport by storm over the last year, and recently moved into the No 10 spot on the Longines world rankings, steadied on the approach to the last. A stride out here would have made him absolutely invincible, but he had the maturity to stick to the plan he had made before going into the ring, and it proved absolutely the right decision as he put the new target of 65.45 seconds onto the scoreboard. He said, “There was a fast eight or a steady nine (strides) there, and I had already decided to go on the nine. I wouldn’t have changed that plan even if it meant I was going to be a half-second slower.”

Faster

Defending champion, Germany’s Daniel Deusser, was faster with Cornet d’Amour but lowered the very last fence when next to go. Even with the four-second penalty added, however, he still slotted into tenth place at the end of the night, and this leaves him well in contention going into tomorrow’s second competition.

Fellers and Flexible then set off at a scorching pace and with the spectators right behind them. The rider from Oregon said afterwards that his stallion’s back is dropping with age, “but it rises up when he hears the crowd – he loves them!” And galloping through the timers in 66.11 seconds he would clinch second place despite the best efforts of the remaining six left to go.

Reflecting

Reflecting on his victory, Allen said afterwards, “I was always going to try to win the class, but for it come off is amazing! I’m very happy with my horse. She jumped super; the atmosphere and the arena were very different but she coped really well with it.” It seems his 11-year-old mare has a naughty side to her nature. When asked to describe her this evening, Allen said, “Molly is quite a strong character and she has her own special ways. She had me worried earlier today because she half ran away with me when I was riding her! But this evening she knew what she had to do and just went in and did it; she always gives her best.”

Fellers insisted he wasn’t surprised to finish so high up the order tonight. “Flexible feels as good as ever and the crowd took four or five years off his age!” But this is a horse who has been written off many times due to injury and illness, and his rider got a bit of a fright earlier in the week. “For the first time in his life he had a little colic issue the other day; it was a bit of a scare, but thanks to my sharp groom it worked out all right. She grabbed the team vet and he did a great job and he (Flexible) seems fine now.”

He is looking forward to tomorrow’s competition and the prospect of making it through to Sunday’s decider, but it’s clearly going to be a tough battle all the way. And after tonight, with results converted into points, Allen holds just a slender two-point lead over the American challenger, while Delaveau and Vrieling are just a single point further behind.

For further information on the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2014/2015 in Las Vegas, USA from 15 to 19 April, visit www.worldcuplasvegas.com or contact Press Officer Marty Baumann, marty@classic-communications.com, +1 508 698 6810.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

19-year-old Bertram Allen from Ireland won the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Final in Las Vegas, USA tonight riding Molly Malone.

Runner-up spot went to America’s Rich Fellers with the amazing 19-year-old Irish-bred stallion, Flexible, winner of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands in 2012.

2 riders, Patrice Delaveau from France (Orient Express HDC) and The Netherlands’ Jur Vrieling (VDL Zirocco Blue NOP) shared third place when clearing the 13-fence course set by Anthony d’Ambrosio in exactly the same time, 66.44 seconds.

A total of 40 horse and rider combinations started in tonight’s competition at the end of which the riders’ results were converted into points.

Allen heads the leaderboard going into tomorrow evening’s second leg which starts at 19.00 local time.

Defending champion and World No. 1, Germany’s Daniel Deusser, lies 10th going into the second day of competition.

Quotes:

Bertram Allen IRL – “It was great to do well tonight and get the ball rolling! I didn’t want to take too much risk. I wanted to finish in the top five if I could.”

Jur Vrieling NED – “I didn’t want to go too crazy in the first round and he (VDL Zirocco Blue) did it really well.”

Bertram Allen IRL, talking about what it was like to ride in the Thomas & Mack arena tonight – “The fences are almost on top of the crowd; we are used to extremes in our sport but this is really extreme!”

Patrice Delaveau FRA – “At the beginning of the course it didn’t go right between fences three and four so it wasn’t the best start and there was a bit of a fight for us to keep it together.”

Rich Fellers USA – “Every course for every class is different and it’s nice to get in the ring and see how horses respond but the competition tomorrow is not a speed competition so it will require a different strategy.”

Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio – “The course worked out as I thought it would and it was a great competition for the crowd.”

FEI YouTube – https://youtu.be/p8dy_v9gL-4.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Las Vegas:

Marty Baumann
Press Officer
marty@classic-communications.com
+1 508 698 6810

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133

Allen Does the Double with Another Longines Win at Bordeaux

Ireland’s Bertram Allen clinched his second victory in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League at Bordeaux, France tonight riding Romanov. (FEI/Pierre Costabadie)

Bordeaux (FRA), 7 February 2015 – Irish Jumping sensation, Bertram Allen, made it a double of wins when scorching to victory in the thrilling penultimate leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series at Bordeaux, France tonight.

And his result was all the more phenomenal for the fact that the 19-year-old rider was partnering Billy Twomey’s stallion Romanov who, at 17, was the oldest horse in the class and just two years younger than the man in the saddle.

There was plenty of tension in the air, as many riders were desperately bidding for those elusive extra qualifying points that will get them to the Longines Final in Las Vegas, USA in two months’ time. But Allen was already well-assured of his ticket following a spectacular indoor season, and tonight the young man who recently moved up to 14th in the Longines world rankings stands top of the Western European League leaderboard.

Underpinning his extraordinary achievement, he left German superstars Ludger Beerbaum (Chaman) and Marcus Ehning (Singular Ls La Silla) in his wake, while Timothee Anciaume (Olympique Libellule) slotted into fourth for France.

When asked afterwards if he was surprised to have beaten such a world-class field, Allen replied, “No, not really. I’ve always known that Romanov is a great horse, and he was just brilliant tonight!”

Up to the task

Course designer, Italy’s Uliano Vezzani, gave them a generous 78 seconds to complete the first course of fences, and 11 of the 40 starters proved up to the task. The triple combination at fence 10 took the biggest toll, but there were also plenty of mistakes at the vertical at eight and the oxer at fence nine which each had a water-tray below them.

The clever jump-off track took horses on a figure-of-eight before looping back to the last element of the former triple combination which was followed by the 1.60m vertical at fence 11 and a long gallop to the final oxer. It seemed Germany’s Beerbaum had it in the bag when the 51-year-old ace, who enjoyed very little luck in earlier legs this season, produced the smoothest of runs from the 16-year-old Chaman to set a strong target in 37.72 seconds when fourth to go.

That left him almost five seconds ahead of the only other clear round produced by the host nation’s Timothee Anciaume and Olympique Libellule after Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander kicked out the last with Lintea Tequila and Italy’s Luca Moneta and Connery lowered the third.

Despite a breath-taking turn inside fence 11, Marcus Ehning and Singular la Silla still couldn’t better Beerbaum’s target time when clear in 38.44. And when Zurich winners Sergio Alvarez Moya and Carlo from Spain left two on the floor, and Ireland’s Denis Lynch (All Star), and Kevin Staut (Reveur de Hurtebise) and Penelope Leprevost (Flora de Mariposa) from France all collected single errors, Beerbaum was still out in front.

Formidable reputation

However, although still so very young, Allen has already earned a formidable reputation for skilled riding against the clock. With his top horse, the grey mare Molly Malone with which he clinched victory at the Longines leg in Verona, Italy last November, he is always to be feared. But he had no doubt that Romanov could do the job equally well this evening. Setting off at a relentless pace, he was well in touch as he cleared the penultimate vertical and the crowd held their collective breath as he urged his veteran campaigner to a big stand-off at the final oxer, stopping the clock in 36.48 seconds to go well out in front. And when the final partnership of The Netherlands’ Maikel van der Vleuten and VDL Group Verdi made a mistake, it was the Irishman’s moment.

“I knew I was in with a chance, and I just kind of set sail down the last! He’s a brave horse with a lot of experience,” Allen said afterwards. He said Romanov “had a win in Zurich (two weeks ago), but it wasn’t a big class. He had a break after Birmingham (GBR) where he won the Showjumper of the Year last October, and we’ve been building him up especially for today.”

Quick to praise

Runner-up, Ludger Beerbaum, was quick to praise the winner. “To be honest, the competition in the jump-off wasn’t really close – he (Allen) was more than a second faster – fantastic work from him. He is very fast and so is the horse. I don’t think I could have beaten him today for speed.” And he added, “Looking at Bertram today, I remember how old I am! The first time I competed in Bordeaux was in 1987, Bertram wasn’t even born then! I was 23 years old at the time and won the Grand Prix. Since then, I haven’t won the World Cup here, so I guess I need to come back again next year then!”

Third-placed Marcus Ehning wasn’t at all disappointed, as his horse is only a nine-year-old and full of promise. “He competed in his first Grand Prix and World Cup in London and he jumped clear over there, and now he’s done it again here – twice! I’m really happy, despite not being the fastest,” he said.

Course designer, Uliano Vezzani, had the final word when putting tonight’s result into context. “I’m very happy,” he said, “because Bertram is the future.”

For further information on the eleventh leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series in Bordeaux, France, visit www.jumping-bordeaux.com or contact Press Officer Pascal Renauldon, Email info@rbpresse.com, Tel +33(3) 44 620 621.

The twelfth, and last, Western European qualifier will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden on Sunday, 1 March. For details of the Swedish fixture, check out website www.gothenburghorseshow.com or contact Press Officer Mayvor Thorin, Email mayvor.thorin@gotevent.se, Tel +46 31 368 4349.

Full result here.

Facts and Figures:

Bordeaux, France presented the eleventh and penultimate leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series tonight.

The winner was 19-year-old Bertram Allen from Ireland partnering Billy Twomey’s stallion Romanov who, at 17, is just two years younger than Allen and the oldest horse in tonight’s competition.

Allen is the only rider to win two legs of the current series. He previously came out on top with his mare, Molly Malone, at Verona, Italy last November.

Allen, who earlier this week moved up one place to No. 14 in the Longines world rankings, now heads the Western European League table with a big total of 71 points.

11 of the 40 starters qualified for the second-round jump-off against the clock.

The top four riders all jumped double-clear rounds.

Course designer was Italy’s Uliano Vezzani.

France was represented by three riders in the jump-off, including Kevin Staut who has competed at all 11 of the Western European League qualifiers to date and who, tonight, finished fifth with Reveur de Hurtebise HDC. Staut now lies second on the Western European League table with 63 points.

Gothenburg, Sweden presents the 12th and last leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series on Sunday 1 March 2015.

Quotes:

Bertram Allen: “There is a super atmosphere here in Bordeaux; it’s one of the best shows on the circuit. I’m delighted. When you are one of the last ones to go at the jump-off and manage to get away with it, it’s a great feeling!”

Timothee Anciaume: “The aim today was simply to keep up the good run of form my horse (Olympique Libellule) has been in. He isn’t well known; I am aware of that. Nevertheless, he has come to Bordeaux in solid form and, given his lack of experience, today was all about trying to get to the jump-off and jump clear; time was not really the priority or focus. The horse has progressed very well and jumped 10 cm higher than the courses he is used to. I am obviously not aiming to compete in Las Vegas considering this was my first World Cup. I’m around the 100th place; if I can get to the top 50 in the coming months then that would be great.”

Marcus Ehning: “Singular LS is owned by Maria Gretzer. I’ve had him now for two years. He’s very much an up-and-coming horse and has improved a lot over the last two years. I’m very proud of him.”

Eric Dulong (President of the Event): “It’s my first year as President and it has been a wonderful, unique experience. It’s also been a great success in terms of visitors, quality of the event and riders – especially today, when you see how young the winner is! This has been another great step for us as a show and we want to keep going further. Thank you to all the riders for having come to Bordeaux and contributing to this success.”

Full standings here.

FEI YouTube here.

Longines Live Timing Jumping application: available free for download from The App Store (iPhone) & Android Markets. Combining precision and performance, this is a detailed and exclusive application designed especially for Jumping fans – follow live results, see latest Longines Rankings, view competition schedules, obtain exclusive information and alerts on your favorite riders and get all the latest FEI news.

Rider biographies: view online and download from http://www.fei.org/bios.

Longines has been based at Saint-Imier (SUI) since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations.

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Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrianism includes Jumping, Endurance and flat racing.

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By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Bordeaux:

Pascal Renauldon
Press Officer
info@rbpresse.com
+333 44 620 621

At FEI:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45