Wellington, Florida, USA – Friday, February 21, 2020 – Bertram Allen (IRL) continued a successful debut season at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. This time, he rode Lafayette van Overis to victory in the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI 5* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Friday’s one-round, featured event built by course designer Santiago Varela (ESP) saw 67 riders compete for the win, but none could best Allen and the foot speed of his nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Tauber van het Kapelhof), owned by Ballywalter Stables.
Stopping the clock at 63.61 seconds, Allen and Lafayette van Overis, a horse he got the ride on in August of 2019, handily won with almost two seconds to spare. Mexico’s Santiago Lambre (MEX) finished the runner up in 65.15 seconds, riding his own Doloris.
Andrew Kocher (USA) and Fashion V rounded out the top three with no penalties in 65.44 seconds for owner Eye Candy Jumpers.
“He’s incredibly straight forward,” said Allen, who took over the ride on Lafayette van Overis from Great Britain’s Joe Clee. “I feel like he truly understands what we are trying to do out there. Ever since I got him, he has been impressing me. He wasn’t bought to be the best horse in the world or to jump 5* grand prix, but every question he’s asked he does it with ease and is very competitive.”
Allen is confident that Lafayette van Overis is a horse for the future and is continually impressed with the gelding’s speed, saying, “He’s naturally very fast but also very careful so you don’t ever have the feeling that you need to slow him down.
Bertram Allen (IRL) & Lafayette van Overis in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.
“This has been a great trip so far,” said Allen of his first time in Florida. “We are going to keep trying our best and hope there’s a little luck on our side.”
Just off the podium, Eve Jobs (USA) finished fourth riding her own Charleville, and four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden rounded out the top five on Abigail Wexner’s Jiva.
WEF continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through March 29, 2020, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The seventh week of competition, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, runs February 19-23 and is recognized as a CSI5* and CSI2* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The featured event of the week is the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5* during “Saturday Night Lights”.
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Source: Press release by Lindsay Brock and Sabrina Brashares / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot