SHOW JUMPING – GLOBAL AUDIENCE WATCHES IRISH TEENAGER BERTRAM ALLEN FINISH SEVENTH IN THE WORLD

TEENAGE jumping sensation Bertram Allen once again took the world by surprise when finishing in seventh place in the penultimate rounds of the World Individual Jumping Championships in Normandy, France this afternoon (Saturday), beating many of the world’s top show jumping combinations.

Ireland also saw Tipperary’s Denis Lynch go clear in the second round to finish in ninth place, while Offaly’s Darragh Kenny claimed 12th after having one fence down.

But it was Allen, the 19 year old Wexford rider whose poise and balance on Ballywalters Farms’s grey mare Molly Malone left over 20 of the highest-ranked show jumpers in his wake today who stole the show for Ireland by finishing seventh in the world.

Three Irish riders qualified for the two-round competition this afternoon, which was held to decide the top four who will compete for the World Champion title on Sunday.

Allen had one time fault in the first round and went clear in the second, while Lynch on Thomas Straumann’s All Star 5 had a four fault first round and a clear second round. US-based Kenny on Hyperion Stud’s Imothep took a zero score first time out, but had one fence down and a time fault on his second attempt.

Irish show jumping manager Robert Splaine said after the competition: “”To get three riders into the top 12 in the world was a magnificent achievement, and it was wonderful to see the reception we got from this packed stadium here today.

“World and Olympic champions were left in our wake, and I cannot praise highly enough the skill and professionalism of all four of the Irish team who performed so magnificently at the championships, and who definitely had the talent to bring home a medal.

“Show jumpingĀ  is a notoriously unpredictable sport, and it was just a lack of a rub of the green that meant the lads have to go home empty-handed on this occasion. However, with the world looking on, I think we gave one of the most impressive performances Ireland has ever produced, and I have to say it was an honour to work with Denis, Cameron, Darragh and last but certainly not least our seventh-placed Bertram Allen.”

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Patrick Wall commented after the championships: “To have three riders in the top 12 is a phenomenal result. I compliment all the members of the squad, they did the nation proud. It’s a cruel sport – one fence staying up for us, or falling for others, would have made the difference, Bertram could have made the top four and the team would have qualified for Rio. We will take the positives from an incredible performance and look to the future with genuine optimism.”

The four riders who will compete for the title of Individual World Champion trophy on Sunday are France’s Patrice Delaveau on Orient Express HDC, the USA’s Beezie Madden with Cortes “C”, Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson with Casall Ask, and Netherlands rider Jeroen Dubbledam with Zenith SFN.