Irish teenage showjumping star Bertram Allen has been named the Irish Field senior showjumper of the year.
After securing a victory in Bordeaux, France, in the world cup qualifier at the weekend (7 February), Bertram flew home to collect his prize at a ceremony at the K Club in Co Kildare on Monday (9 February).
19-year-old Bertram is the youngest rider to receive the award following a remarkable year.
In the past 12 months he has won five-star grand prix classes in Dublin and Lummen, finished best of the Irish (seventh individually) at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy and won two World Cup qualifiers.
While he was in France at the weekend, Bertram and Romanov edged out Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum by just over a second to win.
The victory propelled Bertram to the top of the Western European league table and ensures him a place at the FEI World Cup in Las Vegas that starts on 15 April.
The Wexford native, who is based in Germany, was also presented with the 2014 Gain Horse Feeds/The Irish Field Star of the Year award at the ceremony.
“I am delighted to win these awards,” he said. “It is due to a massive team effort that I can do what I do.”
Bertram will now be focussing on the World Cup final in Las Vegas, followed by the European Championships in Aachen — where Ireland need to finish in the top three of the non-qualified nations to secure a place at Rio in 2016.
Fellow international riders Joseph Murphy, Judy Reynolds, Susan Fitzpatrick and Cathal Daniels also took home awards.
Co. Down-based Joseph Murphy was named the senior event rider of the year. He had one of Ireland’s best results at a four-star finishing fifth at Pau, France, with Sportsfield Othello.
Germany-based Judy Reynolds returned home to take the dressage rider of the year award. Last December she became the first Irish rider to get through to the freestyle of the World Cup qualifier at Olympia and is qualified for the 2015 European Championships.
European junior team gold medallist and individual silver medallist Cathal Daniels from Co. Galway won the The Irish Field junior event rider of the year.
Susan Fitzpatrick took the junior showjumper award for the second year running after she won an individual bronze medal and team silver at the pony European championships.
For the full report from Bordeaux, don’t miss the next issue of H&H, out tomorrow (Thursday 12 February).