Ireland’s Bertram Allen claimed top spot in the opening speed competition of the World Equestrian Games in Normandy. 

The Dublin Grand Prix winner went clear aboard 10-year-old grey mare Molly Malone in 77.01 seconds.

"It was a good solid round,” said Allen. "I didn’t quite expect to be that fast and I’m surprised to be in the lead. I didn't go all out to risk it and this will be a time to be beaten."

There were also clear rounds for the other three members of the Irish team, Darragh Kenny, Cameron Hanley and Denis Lynch, and they sit seventh overall. 

Points gained on Tuesday will aid both team and individual scores for Ireland.

The top five teams at the end of the games qualify for a place at the Rio Olympics.