Irish in stunning form in St Gallen five-star Grand Prix as Bertram Allen and Richard Howley fill top two places

  • 4 June 2017, 18:33

Irish riders recorded a remarkable one-two finish in today’s (Sunday) €200,000 five-star Grand Prix at St Gallen in Switzerland, with Wexford’s Bertram Allen taking the winners prize ahead of Sligo’s Richard Howley in second.

Bertram Allen and Hector van d’Abdijhoeve on their way to victory in the St Gallen Longines Grand Prix

Howley had set an excellent target of clear in 45.64 seconds when drawn fourth to go in the 13 horse jump-off with the 10-year-old gelding Chinook who is owned by Mr & Mrs Aitkenhead. Twenty-four year-old Howley watched on as several of the worlds top riders tried but failed to beat his time.

Allen was drawn last to go against the clock after producing the fastest clear in the first round with the Noel Delahunty-owned 10-year-old stallion Hector van d’Abdijhoeve. The 21-year-old from Co Wexford gauged his round to perfection and crossed the line clear (44.75) almost a second faster than Howley to take the winners prize of €50,000. Howley took home €40,000 for his runner-up finish while the home fans saw Swiss rider Paul Estermann and Lord Pepsi take third place on the podium when clear in 46.15.

A delighted Bertram Allen (pictured above in the presentation) said:

“Hector jumped brilliant all weekend and today was probably as good as he has ever jumped. His first rounds are often quite quick, he likes to go like that and it worked to my advantage getting drawn last to go against the clock.”

Richard Howley and Chinook scored a superb runner-up finish in the St Gallen Grand Prix

Richard Howley reflected on a brilliant run of results which has seen him become an important member of the Irish Nations Cup team:

“It was unreal – a brilliant result. I watched Roman Duguet go first on the screen and I wanted to put down a good marker as fourth to go. The plan was always to go fast and try and win. I knew there were some very fast riders coming after me but I know my horse is fast too. It has been an unbelievable few weeks. It is very difficult for me to get an opportunity to compete at these five-star shows unless I am part of the Irish team. I’m delighted, to finish second in only my second ever five-star Grand Prix – hopefully I can get more chances in the coming weeks.”

Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa was full of praise for his Irish young-guns afterwards:

“I want to congratulate our two young Irish riders on a brilliant performance. Bertram really rode with his head and timed his round just right. He knew what he had to do and he went quick but not crazy. Richard had a brilliant round and laid down a tough target early in the jump-off. It was a brilliant result.”

Third place finish for Irish Eventing team in Tattersalls Nations Cup

The Irish Eventing team meanwhile finished third in the FEI Nations Cup at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Co Meath.

Sally Corscadden’s team of Sam Watson (Imperial Sky (ISH) (TIH), Sarah Ennis (Horseware Stellor Rebound (ISH), Cathal Daniels (OLS Back Chat (ISH)(TIH), and Austin O’Connor (Balham Houdini (ISH), completed the final Cross Country phase on a combined score of 197.90. Victory went to France on 137.60 while Britain took runner-up spot with a score of 167.50.

Carlow’s Sam Watson finished best of the Irish in the George Mernagh Memorial CICO3* taking fourth place with Imperial Sky (ISH) (TIH) on a score of 43.80 behind French winner Luc Chateau with Propriano de l’Ebat (37.20).

Italian rider Vittoria Panizzon claimed The Irish Field CCI3* competition with Chequers Play The Game, having led the competition from start to finish.Tegan White was the highest placed Irish rider in 17th place with Texan Style.

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