Twentieth to jump in a 46-strong field at the five-star World Cup show in Helsinki, Finland tonight, Ireland’s Bertram Allen and the nine year-old grey stallion Dino W produced not only a clear round but a scorching time of 54.29 seconds.

The 1m45 class against the clock saw the Wexford rider hold the lead from then on, despite valiant attempts to catch him, particularly from eventual runner-up Eric van der Vleuten from the Netherlands aboard the 13 year-old bay gelding Zigali P S, who stopped the clock at 54.97. The 54 year-old Van der Vleuten just this month re-started his full-time professional jumping career after stepping down as Chef d’Equipe to the Spanish team after three years.

Other clear rounds tonight in the Irish camp came from Mark McAuley and Jasco v. Bisschop (13th), Shane Breen and Laith (21st with one time fault), while Richard Howley was unlucky to have one pole down in an otherwise perfect round on the bay mare Dolores, and finished in 27th place.

Jack Burns