Irish Flag Flies in Wellington Equestrian Realty 1.45m
A little Irish luck christened the weekend at Wellington International on Friday during Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Irish Olympian Bertram Allen won the CHF37,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI4* 1.45m riding Emmylou for owners Ballywalter Stables and Noel Delahunty Connaught Bloodstock.
Course designer Peter Grant’s (CAN) set a one-round speed track that welcomed 50 pairs to test their quickness. The one that couldn’t be caught, however, was Allen and his 2012 Irish-bred mare (Billy Mexico x Lupin Z) clocking in at 61.85 second. They topped second-place finisher and U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Jessica Springsteen riding Naomi van het Keizershof. owned by Stone Hill Farm. They were just two seconds off the pace in 63.36 seconds, while Vanessa Hood (USA) and Cascalretto, owned by Take Two LLC, rounded out the podium in 63.51 seconds.
Allen was thrilled with his mare’s performance, saying, “I was very early to go in fourth, so I was just going to go and give it my best shot. I have a very competitive horse and she gave a massive effort. She’s just fantastic and I knew that if I rode well that I could have a chance today.”
Their partnership is fairly new, but their potential is obvious after today’s win. “I started with her here last year,” said Allen about adding Emmylou, the previous mount of Norwegian rider Johan-Sebastian Gulliksen, to his string during the 2022 WEF season. “She’s really cool and she tries absolutely everything because she’s quite small and maybe does not have all the scope in the world. Sometimes she jumps classes bigger than she should be able to normally because she tries so hard and is brave. That makes it all possible.”
Allen has returned to Wellington this season with seasoned mounts like Emmylou, as well as a string of nine-year-olds that will step into the International Arena. “I’m hoping to keep winning with the older ones and have the younger ones jumping some bigger classes by the end,” he concluded.
Tomas Yofre Captures Beerbaum Stables CSI2* Victory
Highlighting CSI2* competition during WEF 3, Tomas Yofre (ARG) won the CHF37,000 Beerbaum Stables 1.45m, a qualifier for Sunday’s Beerbaum Stables CSI2* Grand Prix. Fifty-six horses and riders were all vying for a clear first round over Grant’s large and technical course. Twelve eventually advanced to the jump-off.
Ultimately, the one to beat was Yofre and Cardora, a 2010 Holsteiner mare (Caretino 2 x Clearway) owned by Stellium Sport Horses LLC, with a jump-off time of 43.02. Second place went to Maria Costa (USA) and Coup De Coeur, owned by Ravello Farms LLC, in a time of 43.96 seconds, and third went to Chris Pratt (CAN) and CJOXX Z in 44.99 seconds for owners Epic Stables LLC and Twenty Creek Farm & Stables.
"First of all, let me say thank you to the owners, they are like family, and to my uncle who has trained me,” beamed Yofre. “I have been riding the mare for a year and a half and she is super. She’s not the fastest but she has a huge stride. In the jump-off, I did one or two less strides from one to two, so I think I won there because in the race I was doing the same as the other people. She’s becoming faster and really good. I trust her and she trusts me.”
Speaking to his mare’s personality in the barn and what she’s like to ride, Yofre noted, “She really is an amazing mare, definitely a little shy but once she gets to know you and trusts you, she is the best horse in the world.”
Outside the International Arena, Pony Equitation stars were shining bright on Friday with Kenzie Smith winning the Marshal & Sterling/USEF Pony Medal riding her own Idolize. Additionally, Elle Boyd topped the WIHS Pony Equitation from a field of 21 aboard Loafer’s Lodge Melody, owned by Finally Farm, Inc.