Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2021 – It became clear that WEF 6 belonged to Ireland’s Bertram Allen as he sailed across the finish line in the $137,000 FEI IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3* aboard Castlefield Vegas, capturing the pair’s second win of the week after also claiming victory in Friday’s $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup. Sunday’s highlight event concluded with an 18-horse jump-off that included 10 double-clear efforts, with Allen barely edging out Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Igor Van De Wittemoere for the winning title with a horse has only ridden for three weeks.
Sunday’s course on the Stadium Derby Field was designed by Mexico’s Catsy Cruz with the first round featuring an aqueduct wall, an oxer-vertical double combination and a technical vertical-oxer-vertical combination in the last line of the long course. It yielded 18 clear rounds from a field of 45 horse and rider combinations, meaning that athletes would need to go all out to win the tiebreaker. The jump-off included plenty of opportunities to gallop across the field, two new fences with a rollback, and a vertical-oxer double combination before galloping to the final vertical.
Canada’s Jacqueline Steffens set the time to beat as the pathfinder during the jump-off aboard Freaky Liefhebber with a clear round in 40.72 seconds. Nine rounds later, it would be Nassar and Evergate Stables’ Igor Van De Wittemoere that would be the first to traverse the track in less than 40 seconds with all the rails intact, breaking the beam in 37.39 seconds to take over the top spot. Darragh Kenny (IRL) was next in the ring with Urhelia Lutterbach and was also clear, but fell short of the leading time in 38.70 seconds for fifth place. Fellow Irish athlete Daniel Coyle also made a bid for the win aboard Legacy, but their clear time of 38.45 seconds would only be good enough for fourth place.
Allen was second to last to compete with Castlefield Vegas, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Cassino owned by Martin Egan. The duo had a very quick pace to the first fence, never letting off the gas and leaving out a stride in one of the rollbacks as well as to the final oxer. They dashed through the timers in 37.10 seconds, besting Nasser by just 2/10ths of a second.
The last duo to attempt the jump-off was Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s Chancelloress, owned by Skara Glen Stables, Gerry and Michael Hayden, and QBS Equestrian. They also tried to top the leaderboard, but their fault-free effort in 38.35 seconds would only be good enough for third, sealing the victory for Allen while Nassar took home second place.
Although they already have two wins to their name, Allen has only been riding Castlefield Vegas for three weeks. Friday and Sunday’s grand prix events mark the gelding’s biggest tracks yet, and with four clear efforts under their belt it is clear the future is bright for this exciting new combination.
Competition in Wellington will continue next week during WEF 7, featuring CSI5* and CSI2* jumper action. The highlight event will be Saturday’s $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5*, featuring some of the world’s top athletes vying for the winning honors.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Bertram Allen – winner of the $137,000 FEI IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3*
On the his jump-off:
“I knew I just had to give it everything. I didn’t see Nayel’s round, but I was talking to a few people and they said it was very, very fast. My horse is naturally fast, so my plan was just to be as fast as I could be without doing anything crazy. It all came up great and I just stuck to the plan.”
On Castlefield Vegas:
“Friday was the biggest class he had jumped so far and obviously he won that, so I was delighted. Today was another level again, so I was interested to see how he would go on with that. He jumped great, had plenty of scope, so it was a good feeling.”
Nayel Nassar – second place
On Igor Van De Wittemoere
“It’s been about a year and it has been a bit of a process for sure getting him to go the way I’d like him to. He has a ton of energy, so much blood. Sometimes he rushes the jumps a little bit, so we’ve been messing around with bridles, a lot of flatwork, just trying to get a few more gears and I was just so pleased with him today. He jumped the first round spectacularly and jumped the jump-off even better. I thought I had it won, but this guy is pretty darn fast . We are so pleased with this result and so happy with how Igor has come along so far.”
On his plan
“Jacqueline was fast, but I knew my horse has way more foot speed than hers does. He covers the ground so fast and he doesn’t waste any time in the air, so I knew if I just stuck to her numbers I would be faster than she was. I was a little quicker in the rollback, but I probably lost the class at the oxer before that because I struggled to get him to turn right. That’s also his difficult lead, so we still have some homework to do, but I am really happy with that result.”
Paul O’Shea – third place
On Skara Glen’s Chancelloress:
“I thought it was a great course. I was very happy with my mare, she was good the other day and I think we went as quick as we could. At least an Irishman won!”
$137,000 FEI IDA Development CSI3* Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults
1 / Castlefield Vegas / Bertram Allen / Martin Egan / IRL / 74.520 | 0 / 37.10 | 0
2 / Igor Van De Wittemoere / Nayel Nassar / Evergate Stables LLC / EGY / 77.850 | 0 / 37.399 | 0
3 / Skara Glen’s Chancelloress / Paul O’Shea / Skara Glen Stables, Gerry and Michael Hayden, and QBS Equestrian / IRL / 77.39 | 0 / 38.35 | 0
4 / Legacy / Daniel Coyle / Ariel Grange / IRL / 76.59 | 0 / 38.45 | 0
5 / Urhelia Lutterbach / Darragh Kenny / Kerry McCahill / IRL / 77.60 | 0 / 38.70 | 0
6 / Chic Hin D Hyrencourt / Beezie Madden / Abigail Wexner / USA / 78.47 | 0 / 40.33 | 0
7 / Freaky Liefhebber / Jacqueline Steffens / Jacqueline Steffens / CAN / 77.32 | 0 / 40.72 | 0
8 / QH Alfons Santo Antonio / Yuri Mansur / Yuri Mansur / BRA / 77.85 | 0 / 41.51 | 0
9 / Skyhorse / Lillie Keenan / Chansonette Farm / USA / 79.81 | 0 / 42.70 | 0
10 / H5 Just The Music / Carlos Hank Guerreiro / H5 Sport Horses / 76.88 | 0 / 43.06 | 0
11 / GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swai / Vanessa Mannix / IRL / 75.30 | 0 / 38.32 | 0
12 / Jeff Ten Halven / Michael Duffy / HMF Equestrian / IRL / 77.10 | 0 / 39.39 | 0