BERTRAM Allen finished his winter circuit in Florida with another five-star win last Thursday aboard Aiden McGrory’s Irish Sport Horse gelding Pacino Amiro (Pacino x NC Amiro).
The 10-year-old gelding was one of 14 clears in the first round of the $140,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup on the big grass arena. Just 10 of those opted to return for the jump-off and third to go against the clock, Allen’s effortless speedy round in 42.88 seconds gave the rest of the class a target to chase.
However none managed to do so and the pair landed the victory and $46,200 in prize money. The gelding was bred in Co Donegal by Simon Scott. Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca managed to find the second-fastest time across the field for second place with the 12-year-old gelding F One USA in 44.24 seconds. Karl Cook (USA) rounded out the podium with Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet in a time of 44.66.
“I started him off out here on the grass during his first week [at WEF] because I knew the next three five-stars were on the sand,” explained Allen. “I think the reason we were so successful in today’s jump-off was because I didn’t lose my pace anywhere. Every time I turned, something nice came up and I didn’t have to do anything crazy or wild.”
The duo have a hugely successful circuit with victory in the five-star $406,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix during week six. “He has been great throughout all of the circuit. He’s had the last two weeks off, and I’ve just been trying to keep him feeling fresh. He really felt fresh today and found it very easy, so that was a nice feeling.”
Daniel Coyle was runner-up in Friday’s five-star 1.45m aboard Ariel Grange’s 12-year-old mare Farona. The pair were one of 23 clear rounds in the class in a time of 55.23 seconds to earn $7,400. Coyle also finished fourth with Ivory TCS (0/ 56.71), while serperateing his mounts was Darragh Kenny in third with Cicomein VDL (0/ 56.40). Victory went to Britain’s Grace Debney with Zarina de Vidau.
Two-star Grand Prix
The final day of the 2022 circuit concluded with the final classes on the derby field. In the $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*, Cian O’Connor was best of the Irish when finished fifth with Coolmore Showjumping’s talented nine-year-old stallion Taj Mahal.
Some 11 of the starting 45 made it through to the jump-off, where victory went to USA’s Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen with Forever SFN when she was the fastest of five clear rounds in 38.18 seconds.
O’Connor was clear in 41.37 seconds to slot into fifth place, while just behind him was Tipperary’s Tom Wachman with Coolmore Show Jumping’s 13-year-old gelding Lazzaro Delle Schiave who picked up four faults against the clock in a fast time of 38.39 seconds.
O’Connor commented: “Taj Mahal is the most careful horse I ever rode and I think with time and patience he has the chance to become a very famous animal.”
Wachman, who turned 17 in February, had earlier finished runner-up in the two-star $37,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix qualifier on Thursday with HH Fireball. Their time of 39.10 seconds was just half a second slower than USA’s Lacey Gilbertson and Karlin van’t Vennehof who is a former five-star mount of Shane Sweetnam.
Wachman finished a fantastic circuit by being crowned the High Junior Champion with Mangoon.