Bertram Allen’s Valkenswaard United have won the opening Global Champions League contest of the season in Mexico City. Allen and his Italian team mate Alberto Zorzi finished the two round contest on an eight fault total, to take the trophy by a single penalty.
Bertram Allen and Hector van d’Abdijhoeve (Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
Wexford-born Allen and the Noel Delahunty-owned stallion Hector van d’Abdijhoeve jumped clear in the opening round of the Global Champions League on Thursdayand lowered a single fence in the second round decider on Saturday night. Italian Zorzi and Cornetto K matched the score of Allen and Hector to leave Valkenswaard United on eight faults. The St Tropes Pirates team of Simon Delestre (FRA) & Jérome Guery (BEL) finished as runners-up on 9 faults, while the Chantilly Pegasus pairing of Martin Fuchs and Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) took third place on 12.
The lucrative Global Champions League features top riders from different countries jumping on the same team at venues around the globe. Bertram Allen was the only Irish rider to compete in the Global Champions League in 2016, winning the overall title with Valkenwaard United. Cian O’Connor will this year jump on the Miami Glory team, while Darragh Kenny joins Paris Panthers and Michael Kearins jumps with Moscow Bears.
The top 25 combinations from Saturday’s Mexican Global Champions League went forward to the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix later that evening. Bertram Allen and the 10-year-old Hector van d’Abdijhoeve produced a perfect clear first round to make it through to the jump-off. They were first of six combinations to go against the clock where they finished with four faults in 39.07 to take fifth place at the finish and just over €19,000.
The winners prize of €105,000 went to Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Chaplin after they went clear in 37.07, pushing Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels and Gancia de Muze (37.58) into runner-up spot.