“Pacino Amiro is probably going to be my best horse,” said Bertram Allen (IRL) after winning Friday’s $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 CSI3* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Allen and the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding topped a starting field of 78 in the Oscar Soberon (MEX) designed track in Wellington, FL.

Of the 12 that elected to return for the jump-off, the World Equestrian Games veteran and Pacino Amiro left out a stride to the final oxer, flying through the timers in 39.72 seconds—nearly a second faster than runners up Paris Sellon (USA) and Anna Jo (40.77 seconds).

“I thought it was a good, tough class, and it was quite a long track in the jump-off,” said the 25-year old.

“My guy is a little bit inexperienced; you could see that at the start of the jump-off but the more he went, the better he got. I could use his big stride in the big arena, so it worked well for me. He’s only nine so he’s only stepping up to this level but he’s a very genuine, kind horse that’s always trying do the right thing.”

Playing to the Irish rider’s advantage this week was the move to the derby field from the synthetic sand footing of the international ring.

“The field is fantastic. I love it,” said Allen. “The ground and everything is really, really good and the horses love it. It’s beautiful. In two weeks, we’re back out here, so I’m going to skip next week just to make sure I can jump as much as I can on the grass. I think it’s brilliant.”

The win is the first of for Irish snowbird in 2021. He plans to spend the winter in Florida.

“Obviously there’s not much happening in Europe, so we said we’d come over here again,” he shared.

Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Chacna took third in 42.40.