SHOW JUMPING – IRELAND’S ALLEN IN THE LEAD AFTER FIRST COMPETITION OF WORLD CUP FINAL

NINETEEN year-old Irish rider Bertram sped to victory in the first round of the show jumping Longines World Cup Final this morning (Friday) when he and the grey mare Molly Malone defeated riders from 18 other nations with an unbeatable time of 65.45 seconds.

The one round speed class saw the Wexford teenager drawn 32nd to jump of 41 of the world’s best riders and horses, but he effortlessly shaved a second off the time of joint leaders Jur Vrieling from the Netherlands and France’s Patrice Delaveau.

None of the following nine riders looked fast enough to catch the Irish rider, until veteran US rider Rich Fellers on the 19 year-old Irish Sport Horse Flexible came within half a second of overtaking Allen.

However, Bertram Allen’s time remained unequalled at the end of the competition, and he now goes forward into Saturday morning’s two-round second leg bearing the leader’s laurels. Then only Sunday’s third competition will prevent the 19 year-old becoming the youngest World Cup Final winner in 30 years, and the first Irish rider ever to take the trophy.

Just before today’s competition, Gorey native Allen said: ““I’ll be going out every day to win, but just how I’m going to do it I don’t exactly know yet!”

He does now.