Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy 4 (Quidam's Rubin x Zapateado) took their second victory in two days at the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, when they yet again snatched the Longines Speed Challenge-title on Saturday evening. This was the super quick couple's second Longines Speed Challenge win – the two went out victorious at the 2015 Los Angeles-edition of this thrilling competition as well.
The 1.45-meter course has remained unchanged for the three legs of the 2015/2016 Longines Masters-series in Los Angeles, Paris and Hong Kong which certainly worked to Allen's advantage today. The concept with the same course-layout meeting the riders at each stop, gives them the opportunity to improve their speed skills—and perhaps establish new records from one continent to the other. And unlike the traditional speed round format, in this competituon, a knock-down results in only a two-second penalty, instead of four.
It was John Whitaker – winner of Saturday’s opening five-star class – that set the pace as seventh to go when he went clear on Lord of Arabia (Cassini II x Carry) to take the lead with a time of 58.64 seconds. The pressure was on, and those to come knew they had to be fast to beat the British legend.
It was not until Allen, who was last to go, that Whitaker was pushed down from his pole position. Going all in, the young Irish rider managed to do what nobody else could – going clear and shaving off time as the clock stopped on 58.03 seconds. Allen could celebrate his second win of the weekend, and another Longines Speed Challenge-title with the 12-year-old gelding owned by Quainton Stud.
Third place went to Swiss rider Pius Schwizer on Balou Runbin R (Balou du Rouet x Couleur-Rubin), that also left all the poles intact to avoid any added time finishing the track in 60.33 seconds.
Text © World of Showjumping // Picture © Tiffany Van Halle
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