World of Showjumping
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Nassar makes the right call in CSI5* Winning Round 1.50m

Monday, 27 May 2024
CSI5* MLSJ Vancouver 2024

Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry. Nayel Nassar and Ivory Tcs. Photo ©tbird/Kim Gaudry.


Press release from Thunderbird Show Park



As Nayel Nassar (EGY) readied for the winner’s round of the CSI5* Winning Round 1.50m with Ivory TCS (Falaise de Muze x Ukato), he weighed his options.

There were two plays: Take the spookier route inside to the ATCO oxer two fences from home, or go quickly around. He determined that going around and utilizing his mount’s natural quickness was the smarter plan.

But as he navigated Gregory Bodo’s (FRA) shortened course, he loved the feeling he was getting from his horse. So he opted for Plan B and went inside. It worked out perfectly, ultimately resulting in the class win.

The winning time was 46.28 seconds. Kaitlin Campbell (USA) finished second with Connecticut (46.57s), followed by Nicole Walker (CAN) and Excellent B (47.42s).

“She can be a little spooky, and there was a lot going on in that area, so I originally planned to just run quickly around,” Nassar detailed. But then she gave me such a good feeling, and she jumped beautifully out of that double [before the turn] that I landed, and she was right there with me, [and] I could just sneak inside there. I think that was that was the right call.”

Nassar’s been making the correct decisions since Ivory TCS first caught his eye, before her previous rider Daniel Coyle (IRL) won three five-star classes of the same format with the mare in 2023, along with a CSIO4* Grand Prix in Wellington (USA). When Nassar first has an opportunity to acquire Ivory TCS, he passed, but after the mare’s outstanding 2023 season, he knew the timing was better to add the 11-year-old KWPN mare to his string. They’ve been competing together internationally since February.

“She’s just a real competitor. She won so much last year with Daniel. She’s the right age, and she’s totally my type of horse: She has a lot of blood,” Nassar expressed. “I had actually tried her quite a long period before I ended up buying her, and I’m glad I didn’t try her again, because I actually didn’t like her that much the first time I did. She was just very sensitive and a little tricky to steer…but she went on [and] had a brilliant season after I tried her the first time that it was hard to turn her down by the end of the year.”

“She’s been a great addition to our team, and it’s still early days, but, the early returns have been very, very positive,” he added.

On this particular occasion, Nassar and Ivory TCS produced clear efforts in both rounds of the winning round competition. While the 10 combinations that returned for the second round received a clean slate, a faultless score was ultimately required to advance, with 11 combinations jumping clear first rounds. You had to be quick enough, too, as Vanessa Mannix just missed out with Carmela Z, due to the clock.

Footspeed is for sure among Ivory TCS’ strengths, but according to Nassar, the mare’s greatest asset is an intangible: her try. The Jumpr stats back up the notion that the mare wants to give 100%: She’s averaging just 1.3 faults across all heights (1.35-1.60m) with Nassar, jumping clear rounds at a rate of 69%.

“She won so much last year. Daniel is an incredible rider, and I just hope to have even half the amount of success he had [with Ivory TCS],” Nassar said. “He jumped [the mare] in pretty big classes. I’d like to keep her at this level, around 1.50m, the occasional 1.55m. I think that’s her sweet spot, and she tries so hard every time that I don’t think it’s fair to ask her to try even more.”


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