Bertram Allen stormed to victory in Sunday’s $140,000 IDA Development three-star Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida – the second year in-a-row that the Irish rider has won this competition.
Riding his own 15-year-old gelding Harley VD Bisschop, Allen was among 15 combinations who jumped clear in the first round to make it into the jump-off. With the best position in the second round, Allen and Harley VD Bisschop were the final combination into the jump-off and the pair flew through the finish beam with a winning clear in 39.66 seconds – over a second ahead of British runner-up Ben Maher with Faltic HB.
“For some reason or other, I don’t always get the nicest jump-offs on Harley,” admitted Allen of the Belgian Warmblood by Dulf van den Bisschop x Coronado. “I was just going to have my round, and if it all came off, I knew he could be fast enough, but I wasn’t going to force anything. And then right from the start, I caught one to two good, the double [combination] good, and just kept going from there.”
“Harley” has been in the family since November of 2018, having previously been ridden by Nicola Philippaerts.
Allen explained, “My brother [Harry] rode him at one or two shows at the end of last year, and he’s in Spain now with a lot of the other horses. He came out here [to Wellington] the first week, so I thought it would be nice for him to ride him and see how it’s done over here, because it’s different in Europe. It was a good experience for him, and obviously it didn’t do the horse any harm.”
Allen won this same Grand Prix at the 2021 WEF with the Irish Sport Horse Castlefield Vegas. For Harley VD Bisschop, that pre-qualification into the Grand Prix and the grass venue made it an “encouraging” decision to enter the horse.
“It’s great to be a winner anytime, but to do it two years in-a-row, and also last to go, is that little bit sweeter too,” he said.
Final Results: $140,000 IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3*
1. HARLEY VD BISSCHOP: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Dulf van den Bisschop x Coronadoh
BERTRAM ALLEN (IRL), Bertram Allen: 0/0/39.66
2. FALTIC HB: 2010 KWPN stallion by Baltic VDL x Concorde
BEN MAHER (GBR), Oakingham Stud: 0/0/40.92
3. H5 ELVARO: 2009 KWPN stallion by Calvaro F.C. x Heartbreaker
EDUARDO PEREIRA DE MENEZES (BRA), H5 Sport Horses LLC: 0/0/40.95
4. COUNT ME IN: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Conor Swail: 0/0/41.84
5. CORONADO: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by San Patrignano Cassini x Acord II
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/0/42.30
6. MONACO: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Cassini II x Contender
HARRIE SMOLDERS (NED), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/0/42.47
7. ABC QUANTUM CRUISE: 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding by OBOS Quality x Cruising
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Wyndmont: 0/0/42.74
8. JAMES KANN CRUZ: 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Kannan
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Gizmo Partners LLC: 0/0/43.66
9. CORNWALL BH: 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Con Air x Cambridge
AMANDA DERBYSHIRE (GBR), Gochman Sport Horses LLC: 0/0/49.32
10. SQUIRT GUN: 2011 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado x Quick Star
PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Eye Candy Jumpers: 0/4/42.92
11. GERKO: 2011 KWPN gelding by VDL Zirocco Blue x Chin Chin
DAISY FARISH (USA), Lanes End Showjumping: 0/4/43.08
12. KOSS VAN HEISTE: 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Breemeersen Adorado x Contact vd Heffinck
KATIE LAURIE (AUS), Eadaoin Collins: 0/4/43.51