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Bertram Allen bests star-studded field in CHF75,000 CSI5* Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup round 5

Friday, 10 February 2023
CSI5* Winter Equestrian Games 2023

Photo © Sportfot. Bertram Allen & Pacino Amiro, winners of the CHF75,000 CSI5* Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 5. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



The energy was high in the International Ring at Wellington International on Thursday morning as a slew of the top riders in the world suited up to contest the precursor event to Saturday evening’s CSI5* grand prix during ‘Saturday Night Lights’. A starting field of 54 combinations were set to contest Frank Rothenburger’s (GER) first phase of the CHF75,000 CSI5* Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 5, which featured an efficient time-allowed of 74 seconds. As we’ve seen him do before, Irish Olympian Bertram Allen saved the best for last and made quick work of the short course to take the lead in a blazing 38.89 seconds aboard Pacino Amiro.

Photo © Sportfot. Bertram Allen & Pacino Amiro presented as winners of the CHF75,000 CSI5* Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 by Chelsea Buttermore, Equine Event Specialist, American Regent Animal Health. Photo © Sportfot.

The time allowed in the opening round was a heartbreaking factor for six pairs that suffered only a single time-fault. Sixteen advanced to the jump-off, and after two chose to save their horses for another day, 12 riders from eight nations went head-to-head over the short course. The lead changed hands several times, but Allen made the most of his final position and shifted Aiden McGrory’s Pacino Amiro into a new gear.

“I knew going in that I had to have a good round, but I didn’t want to overdo it today with the grand prix coming up on Saturday night,” Allen detailed. “My plan was to be quick early on because I knew if I caught the first two fences good that my horse is as quick as any other.”

The Irish Sport Horse gelding (Pacino x NC Amiro) is undoubtedly Allen’s top mount at this point in the 11-year-old horse’s storied career. “He has really been a fantastic horse for me; he is only 11 years old, but he’s already been to the Olympics (Tokyo), the World Equestrian Games (Herning), and won a five-star grand prix here [at WEF],” he gushed.

For Allen, the win is a welcome way to start a significant week for him at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). “This venue has a lot of good things, but the main reason many of us riders come from Europe is for the five-star weeks. It’s great to start this week off on the right note.”

Allen’s fellow countryman and winner of last week’s CSI4* grand prix, Conor Swail and Count Me In earned the runner-up honors. Swail and the Mannon Farm and Sandy Lipton-owned 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes) are no strangers to the victory gallop and ensured another with a tidy time of 39.29 seconds. Laura Kraut notched a podium finish for the USA with the St. Bride’s Farms’ 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Balou du Rouet x Landor S) Baloutinue. The pair just barely broke the 40 second mark but left all rails in the cups with a final time of 40.19 seconds.

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