Toronto, ON – Ireland’s Bertram Allen claimed a resounding victory in the $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Toronto on Saturday night, November 9, in front of a full house to close out the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 97th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
Canadian course designer and Olympic individual silver medalist Michel Vaillancourt set a course that challenged some of the world’s best show jumping athletes and their horses in the sold-out Coca-Cola Coliseum, which was packed to maximum capacity with a crowd of 6,631 in attendance. When four riders jumped clear to advance to the tie-breaking jump-off, speed became the name of the game and youth shined through. The times became faster and faster until the final challenger, Allen, 24, brought the crowd to its feet with a thrilling jump-off performance riding GK Casper in a time of 34.70 seconds to overtake Belgium’s Jos Verlooy, 23, who had stopped the clock in 35.41 seconds aboard Igor.
“This is a super show,” said Allen, who was making his Royal Horse Show debut. “I didn’t have my best week until tonight, but it all came together. It’s one of the biggest classes that GK Casper has jumped and his first World Cup. It was hard, but I knew if I got the first round behind me, I didn’t have to worry about the jumps as much in the second round. I could really give it a lash.
“He’s always been a fantastic jumper, but it has taken him longer to get to this height,” continued Allen of his 11-year-old Holsteiner stallion (Canto 16 x Quantum) owned by Ballywalter Farm. “Most horses start their first season off doing this at about nine, but this is his first season now.”
In addition to hoisting the Hickstead Trophy, named in memory of Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze’s legendary mount, awarded for the win, Allen also claimed valuable qualifying points for the 2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas, NV. Allen, who finished third in the World Cup™ Final when it was last held in Las Vegas in 2015, now has his sights set on a return trip.
Despite giving it his best effort, Verlooy finished second with Igor, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Emerald van’t Ruytershof x Nabab de Reve) owned by Graziella Janssen and Eurohorse.
“The atmosphere is incredible at this show, and that gives you extra motivation to do well,” said Verlooy, who won team gold and individual bronze medals at the 2019 European Championships earlier this year with Igor. “At the beginning of the year, I called Bertram, and I said, ‘Let’s do a tour in America.’ I actually regret it now!”
Joking aside, Jos continued, “My horse is a great horse, and I was really looking forward to today. I am very happy with my second place.”
Taking third on the podium, 18-year-old Brian Moggre was the first rider to jump clear in the opening round and again set the standard by jumping clear in the jump-off riding MTM Vivre le Reve, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Ustinov x Chellana) owned by Major Wager LLC. Hot off his victory one week ago in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington, the young American’s time of 35.83 seconds landed him in third place in Toronto.
“Toronto is a spectacular city and this horse show is incredible,” said Moggre, who hails from Flower Mound, TX. “When I got the first email saying that I was on the wait list, I was hoping every day that I was going to get in. This is a wonderful show that I would love to be invited back to. My horses seem to like it as well. It is my last show of 2019 and last show of my junior career. It was very special to do that here, and it meant a lot to me and to everybody on my team to be invited here.”
As the only other jump-off challenger, 2012 Olympic team gold medalist Ben Maher, 34, piloted Tic Tac to fourth place for owner Jane Clark with a clear round in a time of 36.32 seconds. Rounding out the top five, Rowan Willis, 39, of Australia and Blue Movie posted the fasted four-fault performance in the opening round to edge out Eric Lamaze, 51. The 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion had a heartbreaking rail at the final fence for sixth place riding Chacco Kid for the Chacco Kid Group.
Of the stunning four-horse jump-off, Vaillancourt noted, “These riders really put on a performance that was second to none. It’s so nice to put on a show in front of a crowd that is knowledgeable and understands the sport. They really appreciate the greatness that the competitors have shown tonight. For that alone, I’m perfectly happy with the results and feel this course was worthy of a World Cup qualifier.”
The Royal Horse Show has been selected as the only Canadian venue to host a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League qualifier for the next three years.
“To have our relationship continue with the FEI World Cup for the next three years, carrying us into our 100th anniversary, is fantastic for the sport, it’s fantastic for Toronto, and it’s fantastic for The Royal,” said Charlie Johnstone, CEO of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “I think it really has to do with the quality of what we’re putting in the ring. The Royal is about the best of the best, whether that’s in food, agriculture, or equine sport. I think we proved this weekend that we can put on a world-class show. The show that these riders put on this evening was outstanding, and we’ll do it even better next year!”
Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze was honoured as both the Leading International Rider and the Leading Canadian Rider, both presented by GroupBy, after making a triumphant return to The Royal following an eight-year absence. In addition, Lamaze’s 2016 Rio Olympic individual bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms and his own Torrey Pines Stable, claimed the Leading Canadian Horse title, presented by Lothlorien Farm.
U.S. Olympian Margie Goldstein-Engle claimed the Leading Lady Rider Award, presented by Martha W. Jolicoeur P.A. – Douglas Elliman, in a presentation that celebrated her top performances throughout The Royal’s international show jumping division.
The $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Toronto closed out the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 97th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. More than 1,000 horses from around the globe competed for $980,000 in prize money during the 10-day CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show. For more information, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.
Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto.
$210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Toronto – Final Results
Saturday evening, November 9, 2019
Rider Nation Horse Faults Time
1. Bertram Allen Ireland GK Casper 0:0 34.70
2. Jos Verlooy Belgium Igor 0:0 35.41
3. Brian Moggre United States MTM Vivre le Reve 0:0 35.83
4. Ben Maher Great Britain Tic Tac 0:0 36.32
5. Rowan Willis Australia Blue Movie 4
6. Eric Lamaze Canada Chacco Kid 4
7. Margie Goldstein-Engle United States Dicas 4
8. Kent Farrington United States Austria 2 4
9. Conor Swail Ireland GK Coco Chanel 4
10. Laura Kraut United States Confu 4
11. Mario Deslauriers Canada Amsterdam 27 4
12. McLain Ward United States Noche de Ronda 4