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Nayel Nassar and Igor van de Wittemoere take feature win at inaugural CSI Greenwich

Wednesday, 13 October 2021
CSI3*/2* Greenwich 2021

Photo by Ashley Neuhof Photography Nayel Nassar and Igor van de Wittemoere won the $150,000 CSI3* CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix of Greenwich at the inaugural CSI Greenwich Presented by ShowPlus®. Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography.

 

Press release from Catie Staszak Media

 


 

Nayel Nassar (EGY) was not expecting to jump-off in the $150,000 CSI3* CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix of Greenwich, the feature event of the inaugural CSI Greenwich Presented by ShowPlus® at Greenwich Polo Club. In fact, after he and top mount Igor van de Wittemoere pulled the back rail jumping into a technical double combination midway through the course, he picked up the pace, looking to be a fast four-faulter. "In the end, I didn’t really need to do that!" he said. In a rare outcome, no combination could clear the first round of Alan Wade's (IRL) 1.55m track, resulting in a jump-off of nine riders on four faults. Nassar ultimately took the win, crossing the timers of the short track with a clear round in 41.23 seconds.

Alex Matz (USA) and Erdento van de Leeuwerk finished second (41.49 seconds), with Nicky Galligan (IRL) and Castelissimo third (42.44).

"It was kind of crazy! I don’t think I’ve ever jumped off on 4 faults before," Nassar said. "I think a lot of people were in the same boat in this class. It was really surprising, but it was a tough course."

Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography Nayel Nassar and Igor van de Wittemoere. Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography.

Wade set for the occasion, as elite show jumping sport took center stage for the first time in the history of the famed Greenwich Polo Club. Nassar, fresh off an appearance in the Tokyo Olympic Games, took the win with his Olympic mount; he and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding have been partnered for the last year and a half.

"He’s been amazing. We took him to Tokyo, and then he came back home, took a little break, and went up to Spruce Meadows, which was actually a great prep for a show like this with a big grass field," Nassar explained. "He was awesome up there. This is kind of his last bigger show of the year."

Nassar had an especially large cheering section in Greenwich. The 29-year-old is set to marry fellow show jumper Jennifer Gates (USA) next week, and much of his family, in town for the occasion, came out to watch him compete.

"They all wanted to come up here and support," he said. "I was surprised. I didn’t think they’d want to venture out of New York City to come watch me jump, but they’re an amazing crew. They're supportive. Both my parents and my brother are here, so it's a special win today."

Sydney Shulman and A Toi de Prim have the winning strategy in $57,000 CSI2* Double H Farm Grand Prix

Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography Sydney Shulman and A Toi de Prim. Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography.

Sydney Shulman (ISR) admitted, she's had her eye on the 11-year-old mare A Toi de Prim for quite some time.

When she and the mare's owner Andrew Bourns (IRL) connected this summer in Traverse City, she finally got her chance to take the reins. In just their second international competition, they took the win in the $57,000 CSI2* Double H Farm Grand Prix 1.45m at CSI Greenwich.

Alex Matz (USA) and Ibbo van T'Keldertje finished second, with Peter Lone (USA) and Cedric 84 third.

"She’s super fast. This is only my horse show with her, Shulman said. "[Bourns] caved when I got her, because I’ve been asking about her for so long. I’ve been a fan of hers, and she’s my dream type of horse. She really wants to work with you, not against you."

The top 10 combinations returned for Alan Wade's (IRL) shortened course in the competition's winning round format, which may have been the winning edge for Shulman. The 26-year-old won three such competitions this summer with her top mount, Villamoura and found that a quick first round gave her a strategic edge in the second, in which competitors return in reverse order of standing.

Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography Sydney Shulman and A Toi de Prim. Photo © Ashley Neuhof Photography.

"I don’t think I’ve jumped a winning round class until this summer in Michigan, but I got quite familiar with it. Villamoura won three of them, so I think I really got the system down at this point!" Shulman exclaimed. "I really like strategy, so I maybe go a little bit faster than most in the first round, just to give myself an extra advantage, which I think really paid off." When Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Picador, a combination known for their quickness, pulled a rail ahead of Shulman to ultimately finished seventh, she knew she didn't have to take as many risks to secure a victory. "I think my plan would have definitely changed if I went earlier in the jump-off, and I would have risked having one down," Shulman said. "I thought I played it a little safe, but she's a naturally fast horse." It was truly a hometown win for Shulman, who's family's Back Country Farm is based just across the street from Greenwich Polo Club. In fact, both properties are owned by the Brant family. "It’s a dream for me, and our farm, Back Country Farm is across the street. The owner of our farm actually owns the polo fields here. It means a lot to show here, let alone win here." Shulman said. "The field is beautiful, Alan Wade’s courses are phenomenal, and it’s so fun. I have my whole family here, all the clients, all the kids, and I can’t ask for more. "It brings hometown crowd to another level."

 



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