IRELAND’s teenage show jumping sensation Bertram Allen flew home to Ireland yesterday (Monday) to collect his prize at the prestigious The Irish Field Awards at the K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare.
The 19-year-old rider was fresh from winning his second World Cup qualifier Grand Prix in Bordeaux, France on Saturday night and propelling himself to the top of the Western European league table. Riding the stallion Romanov, he beat seven former world number riders including his own mentor Marcus Ehning.
Allen was presented with The Irish Field senior show jumper of the year accolade following a remarkable year in which he won five-star Grand Prix classes in Dublin and Lummen, finished best of the Irish (seventh individually) at the World Equestrian Games and won two World Cup qualifiers. The Wexford native was also presented with the 2014 Gain Horse Feeds/The Irish Field Star of the Year Award.
Accepting his award, the Wexford native said: "I am delighted to win this award, it is due to a massive team effort that I can do what I do. My sister is a great help to me in Germany, my parents are at home but are always at the shows. It takes a big effort from everyone in the family and in the team to achieve success. My next focus will be the World Cup final in Las Vegas, followed by the European Championships in Aachen where the goal is Olympic qualification for Ireland for Rio in 2016."
He was joined at the event by fellow international riders and award winners Joseph Murphy, Judy Reynolds, Susan Fitzpatrick and Cathal Daniels.
Co Down-based Joseph Murphy was named the senior event rider of the year. Murphy finished fifth at Pau, France, one of only six four-star events in the world. He held two top five places following cross-country and took the trophy for best cross-country round of the competition with Electric Cruise. He went on to take fifth with Sportsfield Othello, giving one of Ireland’s best results in recent years at a four-star fixture.
Germany-based Judy Reynolds returned home to take the dressage rider of the year award. Representing Ireland at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, Judy Reynolds scored more than 10 top-10 placings at international level on Vancouver K, with whom she was also crowned the 2014 Dressage Ireland national champion. In December Judy became the first Irish rider to get through to the Freestyle of the World Cup qualifier at Olympia and is qualified for the 2015 European Championships.
European junior team gold medallist and individual silver medallist Cathal Daniels from Co Galway won The Irish Field junior event rider of the year, while Susan Fitzpatrick won The Irish Field junior show jumper award for the second consecutive year after she won an individual bronze medal and team silver at the pony European Championships.
All winners in the Gain Horse Feeds/The Irish Field Star of the Month were also presented with their prizes on the day.