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Nayel Nassar’s hot streak continues with win in $134,000 WEF Challenge Cup CSI5*

Friday, 29 March 2019
Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 – Week 12

Photo © Sportfot Nayel Nassar and Lucifer V. Photo © Sportfot.

 

Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions written by Summer Grace and Emily Riden for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

 


 

Egypt’s Nayel Nassar rode Lucifer V, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, to the win in the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 CSI5* on Thursday, March 28, during the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

The 12-week winter circuit culminates this weekend with the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). 

Additional featured highlights of week 12, sponsored by Rolex, include the $50,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby, with round one running on Saturday and round two getting underway at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the derby field at Equestrian Village. The $50,000 Puissance America Grand Prix CSI 2* and the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m National Grand Prix will wrap up international jumper competition on Sunday in the WEF International Arena. 

On Thursday, 60 entries contested the WEF Challenge Cup course set by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, and of those starters, 28 qualified for the jump-off round, with 18 ultimately electing to return to face off over the short course.

Fresh off a second-place finish with Lordan and a victory with Lucifer V in the two HITS $1 Million Grand Prix events held within the past two weeks, Nassar was the second to return for the jump-off and set the time to beat at an untouchable 35.90 seconds. 

Coming the closest to catching Nassar’s time was U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington riding Creedance, owned by Kent Farrington & R.C.G Farm, who finished in second on 36.70 seconds. Rounding out the top three was 22-year-old Spencer Smith (USA) riding Theodore Manciais to a finish time of 36.83 seconds for owner Torrey Pines & Ashland Farm. 

“It’s surreal really,” said Nassar, 28, of his recent successes and lucrative results. “Something’s clicked in [Lucifer]’s head in the last couple months. He’s an extremely, extremely gifted horse, and I’m really grateful to have him. He just adds a little bit of depth to my string so I can keep Lordan a little fresh and have a good result out west and then come here and try to clean up a little bit with Lucifer!” 

In the past week, that is exactly what Nassar and Lucifer V have done thanks to their top performances in rounds including Thursday’s jump-off. 

“I was surprised to see so many clears; I thought the first course walked difficult enough, but I think everyone’s in good form,” said Nassar. “It’s the last week of the circuit. It’s a big five-star week, and there are a lot of good horses here. Lucky for me, I went early in the jump-off, so I didn’t have much to think about except to try to go fast and leave them up. He’s just naturally such a quick horse; I knew if I could just be neat everywhere and stay on top of my turns, that he would be tough to catch, and he was today.”

Nassar first competed Lucifer V in May of last year and, since that time, has developed a more highly-reliable partnership with the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding (Lord Dezi x Grandeur). 

“We struggled a bit with consistency in the beginning,” said Nassar. “He’d put in a really good round and then come back and be not so good. We’ve been trying to find some sort of consistency, and luckily, it’s all coming together at the right time. 

“He’s a little quirky for sure, but I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other really well now,” continued Nassar. “I feel like he trusts me, and I trust him. I’ve learned to ignore whatever happens in the warm-up ring because he tends to be a little lazy out there, but once he gets in the ring, he’s really on top of the job. He’s a really fun horse for me to ride and to have.” 

Nassar will next point Lucifer V at Saturday night’s $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*.

 

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