Millie Allen powers to victory in Liverpool's under 25 grand prix

Millie Allen more than made up for an agonising defeat a year ago to be crowned Liverpool’s under 25 grand prix champion with Udo Oppermann's stallion Balou Star.

Just 12 months after being pipped at the post by a slender 0.02 sec by her sister Pippa, Millie returned with the Balou Du Rouet son Balou Star and on this occasion, she was not to be denied.

Twelve combinations reached the jump-off and Millie – who claimed second the previous day in Sunday’s under 25 class – set off in determined mode and powered home with tight turns and a flourishing gallop to the last. The pair claimed the £2,000 first prize in the Equerry Horse Feeds under 25 grand prix by 1.27 sec.

It was no mean feat – British-based Irishman and well known speedster Richard Howley jumped into second with Chinook III.

“It was a very competitive class, anyone on that start-list could have won. I had to take a lot of risks and be fast from the beginning, but my horse has so much scope and such a big heart,” said Millie.

Changes have been made recently.

“It’s a busy year ahead for me, I’ve just moved to a new yard," said Millie, who has been based with James Davenport and Angelie von Essen to learn her craft since September.

James Smith eased Bolton Gate Ben into third behind Richard, and Jake Saywell claimed fourth with Havinia Van De Roshoeve. Six horses provided double clears, with Alfie Bradstock on Hello Disckoboy DN in fifth and Morgan Carpenter sixth aboard Tinkas Tyson. Yesterday’s winner Annabel Shields produced the fastest time of the class but had to settle for seventh on Wet Wet Wet when a costly rail hit the floor.

Photos © Trevor Meeks/Liverpool International Horse Show