Irish Olympian Bertram Allen made history at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as he scored back-to-back grand prix victories on the same two weeks he had also won in 2021. A two-time winner of WEF 6’s IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3* in 2021 and 2022, Allen again rose to the top on Saturday, February 26, 2022, in the $406,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5* with Pacino Amiro, the same mount he rode to victory in 2021. WEF 7, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, is the second of four five-star weeks during the WEF circuit, which culminates on April 3.
Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen (ECU) set a challenging track for the 40 entries in the “Saturday Night Lights” class. Five were able to go clear over the first-round course while 12 fell victim to just one rail down. Fifteen countries were represented in the Grand Prix order, with four flags in the jump-off.
Bliss Heers praised the course designers, saying, “It’s always tough building here because of the level of competitors and horsepower. You want something difficult enough, but not something that will scare the horses because you want to keep them confident that the Saturday night class is going to be a good class. They did a great job, and it was fair.”
First to return for the jump-off was Olympian Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ladriano Z, a 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Lawito x Baloubet Du Rouet owned by Over The Top Stables LLC. With a rail for four faults and a time of 45.59 seconds, Bluman finished in fourth place. Allen was next in, and he opened up Pacino Amiro’s giant stride to gallop across the jump-off clear in 44.14 seconds.