Allen's Aga delight
Showjumping star helps Ireland to first win since 2012
It was a memorable day for Bertram Allen and Team Ireland on Friday when winning the Aga Khan Cup for the first time in three years.
Jubilant scenes unfolded at the Discover Ireland RDS Horse Show on Friday when the hosts gave an extremely impressive performance in registering a team total of four points.
The team consisted of Gorey's Bertram Allen on Romanov, Greg Broderick on MHS Going Global, Cian O'Connor on Good Luck and Darragh Kenny on Sans Soucis Z.
Team Ireland were set up well after the first round, with only Allen giving up a fault.
Clear second rounds from Allen and Broderick laid the foundations for Olympic medalist Cian O'Connor to clinch victory on Good Luck with a clear round, his third Nations Cup triumph.
Winning was the perfect way for O'Connor to celebrate his one hundredth cap for Ireland.
The Irish team had the full support of a most enthusiastic crowd who greatly enjoyed the occasion, especially the determination and skill of the Irish team members.
Twenty-year-old Allen opened for Ireland on the 17-year-old Romanov, but with the added difficulty of also being the first competitor of the eight nations tackling the course.
He came home with just one fence down to put four faults on the board for his team.
In the second round, Allen rectified his previous single mistake with a more typical classic clear, and when Broderick and MHS Going Global recorded one of the only two double clear rounds achieved in the whole competition, Ireland's position started to look unassailable.
O'Connor came into the arena with one fence in hand for his team and when he and Good Luck returned just four faults the home victory was sealed. With now just four faults on the leaderboard, anchorman Darragh Kenny did not need to jump to confirm Ireland's first Aga Khan success since 2012.
Team manager, Robert Splaine, said after the competition: 'This was a momentous occasion for us, as it always is, when we win in front of the home crowd, whose enthusiasm always lifts our game.
'This Aga Khan victory fits in with all out overall plan, with different combinations improving and maturing as the year progresses. We do aspire to be the best in the world and hopefully others see that this is now possible.'
Bertram Allen, having helped Team Ireland to Aga Khan glory, has seen his amazing year continue with another notable high.