Ireland’s teenage wonderboy, 19-year-old Bertram Allen, scorched to victory in the Selleria Equipe Speed, the second competition on the opening day of Jumping Verona 2014 this afternoon. (Photo © Jumpingverona).
His 11-year-old mare, Wild Thing, lived up to her name when producing a spectacularly fast clear that pushed long-time leaders Abdullah Al Sharbatly and Andrea from Saudi Arabia into runner-up spot while Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels lined up third with Domingo.
Sharbatly set the target at 59.27 seconds when 16th to go in the field of 42 runners. But Allen shave more than a second off that when, 28th into the ring, he set the competition alight with a superb display of smooth speed riding. Wild Thing went like a cruise missile, wasting no time over the fences and galloping through the finish in 58.23 for the win.
Allen’s potential has been obvious for many years now. He took individual gold and team silver at the European Pony Championships in 2010, team gold at the Junior European Championships in 2012 and individual silver in last year’s Junior Europeans. He still has several years of Young Rider competition ahead of him, but such is his extraordinary talent that he is already beating the biggest stars in the sport. He led the individual rankings after the first day of competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, France where he finished individually seventh with the brilliant grey mare, Molly Malone, less than two months ago.
He was proud of Wild Thing’s performance today, because this competition was a step-up in class for the mare who has played a significant role in his success in recent years.
“She hasn’t done many 1.50m speed classes, this height is her maximum but she’s on great form at the moment. I did a lot of Junior classes with her and she was my first and best horse for a few years. I’ve had her for three years” said the young man who hails from County Wexford in Ireland but lives in Muenster, Germany. He trained with British-based Irish rider, Billy Twomey, early in his career and Wild Thing is jointly-owned by Twomey and the Allen family’s Ballywalter Farms. He has also been coached by German ace Marcus Ehning.
Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels was delighted with his third-place finish with Domingo who, last year, competed at Jumping Verona with reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ champion, Daniel Deusser from Germany, on board. Based near Mechelen in Belgium which also hosts a leg of the FEI World Cup™ Western European League series in December, Bruynseels, who was twice crowned Belgian National Champion, is targeting Sunday’s World Cup qualifier with the 11-year-old stallion Pommeau du Heup. “He was double-clear in Rome Nations Cup and clear in the Grand Prix there this year, and he was clear in Lyon World Cup a week ago” he pointed out.
Bertram Allen is also targeting some World Cup points in Sunday’s feature competition in which he will ride Molly Malone. “But she hasn’t done much since the World Equestrian Games” he pointed out today. “We went to Liege last week and did a little but but she needs a few shows to really get going again so we’ll have to wait and see what happens here” he added.
The young Irishman has never visited Jumping Verona before and is very impressed. “One of the great things about this show is the schedule, you can really make a plan with three classes a day and it suits us riders because there’s no hanging around for us, or the horses or the grooms. We start at a reasonable time and we’re not jumping in the middle of the night so everyone’s very happy, particularly the horses!” he said.
Final Results €25’000 Premio Selleria Equipe 1.50m:
1.- Wild Thing L/Allen, Bertram (IRL) 0/58.23
2.- Andrea/Alsharbatly, Abdullah (KSA) 0/59.27
3.- Domingo/Bruynseels, Niels (BEL) 0/60.16
4.- Quiwi Dream/Dreher, Hans-Dieter (GER) 0/61.32
5.- Lucaine/Previtali, Roberto (ITA) 0/63.38
6.- VDL Groep Arera C/Vleuten, Maikel van der (NED) 0/63.80
7.- Quova de Vains/Moneta, Luca Maria (ITA) 0/64.05 sec
8.- Sellia du Bessin/Arioldi, Roberto (ITA) 0/65.86
9.- Colestus/Beerbaum, Ludger (GER) 0/66.60
10.- My Forever/Casadei, Mirco (ITA) 0/66.63
11.- Lacrimoso HDC/Delaveau, Patrice (FRA) 0/67.83
12.- Nippon d’Elle/Bost, Roger Yves (FRA) 0/71.55