BERTRAM Allen and Cian O'Connor both produced outstanding jumping rounds to finish on the podium in the Saut Hermès Grand Prix and the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix yesterday (Sunday).
Wexford’s Bertram Allen and the grey mare Molly Malone scored an impressive third place finish in the €400,000 five-star Saut Hermès Grand Prix at the Grand Palais in Paris. An extremely tough first round course set by Germany’s Frank Rothenberger saw just three combinations managing to jump clear.
Allen and Molly Malone posted the first clear round when 11th to jump and it looked for a while that they might even take the winners prize without the need for a jump-off, as one-by-one, some of the world’s best combinations failed to keep the fences intact.
It wasn’t until Penelope Leprevost (FRA) jumped clear when seventh last to go with Vagabond de la Pomme that a jump-off was assured and Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander added her name to the list of contenders when she guided California to a clear when last to go in the first round.
Allen had the disadvantage of being drawn first to go in the decider and he posted an extremely fast time of 39.20 seconds with the 13-year-old daughter of Kannan but unfortunately the penultimate fence fell to the floor. Leprevost and Vagabond de la Pomme almost lifted the glass roof off the stunning Grand Palais when they took the lead with a clear in 41.44. However Tops-Alexander and California then shaved .08 of a second off the target while keeping the poles standing, to take victory and over €132,000. Leprevost took home €80,000 for second place while Bertram Allen collected €60,000 for finishing third on the podium.
GOOD LUCK FOR O'CONNOR
At the HITS Coachella show in California, Co Meath's Cian O'Connor finished third in the 1.50m AIG $1 Million Grand Prix aboard the impressive big jumping stallion Good Luck. Of 54 starters, six riders jumped clear around Alan Wade’s first-round track.
O'Connor was drawn first to go in the second round and producing an amazing display of jumping to stop the clock in 43.90 second and take home $120,000. Victory and a winners prize of $350,000 went to USA's Mandy Porter and Milano with a time of 41.60.
O'Connor will now aim for the $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala next week with the 11-year-old Canturo-sired stallion, who is owned ay Adena Springs.
Meanwhile at the Spanish Sunshine Tour in Vejer De La Frontera, Co Down’s Dermott Lennon and Judith Sossick’s Irish Sport Horse mare Loughview Lou-Lou also took third place on the podium in the four star Grand Prix. A double clear round in a time of 42.75 saw them collect €15,000, with victory going to Britain’s Guy Williams riding Depardieu Van’t Kiezelhof (41.28).
BREEDING: Loughview Lou Lou (ISH) – 2002 mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Loughview Diamond Lucy (ISH), by Jack Of Diamonds (ID C1). Owner/Bred by Judith Sossick, Co. Antrim. Rider: Dermott Lennon (IRL)