WEXFORD's Bertram Allen and his new mount Castlefield Vegas (ISH) cemented their partnership with a brilliant double, winning the €137,000 FEI IDA Development Grand Prix today (Sunday) at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Wellington, Florida, USA.
After winning the Grand Prix CSI3* qualifier on Friday, they went on to win the Grand Prix today in style, proving unbeatable in the 18-horse jump-off, which featured some of the top combinations in the sport.
Allen rode Martin Egan's Castlefield Vegas to victory, posting a double clear in a jump-off time of 37.101 seconds to claim the winner's prize of $45,210.
Nayel Nassar and Igor Van De Wittemoere, double clear in 37.399, had to settle for the runner-up spot while Ireland's Paul O'Shea (Skara Glen's Chancelleros - 0/0 38.35), Daniel Coyle (Legacy - 0/0 38.45) and Darragh Kenny (Urhelia Lutterbach - 0/0 38.70) were third, fourth and fifth in the final line-up.
Co Down's Conor Swail (GK Coco Chanel - 0/4 38.32) was 11th while Michael Duffy was 12th (Jeff Ten Halven - 0/4 39.39) and Gavin Harley was 17th (Very Chic du Tillard - 0/8 39.72).
Coyle and O'Connor placed in Ocala
Meanwhile at Ocala in Florida on the same day, Irish riders were also in excellent form. The $200,000 HITS Grand Prix saw Derry’s Jordan Coyle take runner-up spot with Ariso, while Meath’s Cian O’Connor and the Irish Sport Horse Kilkenny (Cardento - MHS Pembrook Lady) finished in fourth place. Victory went to Aaron Vale (USA) and Elusive. On Friday Jordan Coyle guided Eristov to victory in the $25,000 Smartpak Grand Prix at the same venue.
Back in Europe, Wexford’s Harry Allen and the 10-year-old stallion Guinness too runner-up spot in the two-star Grand Prix at Ornago in Italy where victory went to Bryan Balsiger (SUI) with Clouzot De Lassus.
At Vejer De La Frontera in Spain, Meath’s Alexander Butler and the 16-year-old mare Athene finished sixth in the four-star Grand Prix where Gudrun Patteet (BEL) came out on top with Sea Coast Kashmira Z.
More on this story in Saturday's The Irish Field