Belfast Telegraph

Bertram reveals heartbreak after 'blood' appeal fails

By Pat Smith

Bertram Allen has spoken of his anguish after losing his appeal against disqualification from the Olympia Grand Prix in London.

Dubliner Allen had posted a stunning jump-off time of 30.45 seconds on Quiet Easy to destroy a world-class field at the London International Horse Show.

But blood was subsequently found on Quiet Easy's right flank, prompting Allen's disqualification by the ground jury.

An appeal was lodged but the appeal committee upheld the decision.

The class was subsequently awarded to Brtain's Michael Whitaker, riding Viking. Germany's Ludger Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning were second and third.

"I am utterly devastated, just speechless," Allen said.

"I have a fantastic relationship with all of my horses, and their welfare is paramount.

"My foot must have slipped against Quiet Easy's side as I was riding against the clock. He's a sensitive horse and it was just a tiny nick.

"I am devastated by the decision of the ground jury to eliminate me and my horse.

"I totally understand the rules in relation to the treatment of horses in competition, but I'm disappointed that the officials didn't use any discretion on this occasion."

Whitaker, meanwhile, gave Allen his winner's rosette, and said: "Bertram was probably very hard done-by.

"I would have preferred to have won it in the ring, but I suppose rules are rules and everyone has got to abide by them, but I couldn't see much wrong."

Allen's fellow Irish star Cian O'Connor, who also rode in the grand prix, criticised the decision.

O'Connor said: "I feel for my team-mate Bertram, who annihilated the opposition to win the grand prix."

Belfast Telegraph

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