WEXFORD's Bertram Allen rode the talented nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Pacino Amiro (by Pacino x Carnone Dancing Queen) to victory in the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 CSI3* at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Florida, USA.
And there was more to come from Irish riders when Michael Duffy finished seventh on Katherine Duffy's Zilton SL Z (by Zirocco Blue VDL x Utopie) (0/4/39.98).
Friday’s class had a starting field of 78 entries contest the track set by course designer Oscar Soberon (USA) with a total of 12 electing to return for the jump-off. In the second round, many combinations opted to do nine strides to the final fence on course, but Allen and the gelding owned by Aiden McGregory moved swiftly in eight strides to fly over the final oxer and cross the finish line in 39.72 seconds.
“I thought it was a good, tough class, and it was quite a long track in the jump-off,” he said. “My guy is a little bit inexperienced; you could see that at the start of the jump-off but the more he went, the better he got. I could use his big stride in the big arena, so it worked well for me. He’s only nine so he’s only stepping up to this level but he’s a very genuine, kind horse that’s always trying do the right thing.”
Paris Sellon (USA) posted a clear effort over the shortened track aboard the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare Anna Jo for Willow Grace Farm, finishing just over a second off the lead in a time of 40.77 seconds. With the first double clear effort of the day, Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and his own 14-year-old mare Chacna held on for a third-place finish, stopping the timers at 42.40 seconds.
Allen had only great things to say about the quality of the footing and opportunity to jump on the derby field.
“The field is fantastic. I love it,” he said. “The ground and everything is really, really good and the horses love it. It’s beautiful. In two weeks, we’re back out here, so I’m going to skip next week just to make sure I can jump as much as I can on the grass. I think it’s brilliant.”
Source: Equestrian Sports Productions
Kate Pettersen and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.