Bertram Allen added another success to the Irish haul at this year’s Olympia London meeting when winning Saturday’s  Christmas Masters contest and hopes for more to come before the final day on Monday. “All the horses are in good form so we’ll keep trying”, he said after collecting the top prize on High Valley.

The Masters is contested by the seven best-performing riders at this week’s meeting to date, and consists of as many as five rounds depending on how many stay clear. Anthony Condon also qualified for today’s contest but went out in round two with Chinook. Today’s event went to the maximum with three riders making it past round four intact, and facing a battle against the clock for the winner-takes-all purse.

London International Horse Show 2016
Bertram Allen during the presentation for his Masters win on High Valley

In the decisive round Allen was second to go having seen Great Britain’s Laura Renwick knock the last fence ahead of him with Dominant H. Allen went clear in 24.79 and while the final contestant Malin Baryard-Johnsson of Sweden left everything standing, his time was half a second slower on H&M Indiana.

One of the unusual features of Christmas Masters is that each rider has to nominate a fence to be raised ahead of of his/her round. “There’s a lot of strategy behind it”, Allen told Horse & Country TV afterwards. “I took it by round. I spoke to one or two people and I was watching what the others were doing.”

It was Ireland’s third success of the meeting so far, with Christopher Megahey having finished as joint-winner of the Puissance with Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier on Thursday and Darragh Kenny netting Friday’s Snowflake Stakes with Fixdesign Funke van’t Heike.

Mike Dunne