Leading Irish showjumper Bertram Allen is switching disciplines in a bid to raise €30,000 (£26,219) for charity.

The European gold medallist has revealed that he will be taking part in a charity race at Punchestown on 28 April.

The race is in aid of the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund and Bertram is also encouraging people to sign up to the organ donor register.

“The Punchestown kidney research race is something that I’m really looking forward to,” said Bertram.

“Over the past five years my family and I have supported this great cause and this year I finally get the chance to be a jockey for the day.

“By lending my support to this great cause I want to raise as much money as possible for the charity but I also want to raise awareness for something that is affecting so many families.

“All donations would be greatly appreciated and if I could encourage you to carry a donor card also that would be great.”

The charity flat race was first held in 1990 and is staged on the final day of Punchestown Festival.

It is run over 1 mile seven furlongs and was won last year by Ian Haughan on Mr Boss Man.

Over the past 28 years, the race has raised more than €1.4million (£1.2m) and contributed to numerous projects.

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While this will be Bertram’s first experience of race-riding, he is no stranger to speed — as his is jump-off record shows.

He won medals at European pony, junior and young rider level and made his senior squad debut aged 17 at the Austrian leg of the 2013 FEI Nations Cup series, where he jumped double clear.

In 2014 he finished seventh individually at the World Equestrian Games and last year was part of the gold medal-winning team at the 2017 European Championships.

This year, Bertram already has seven international wins to his name as well as dozens of top 10 placings.

The 24-year-old is currently competing in the Miami leg of the Global Champions Tour and has had considerable success in the series in recent years.

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