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Nayel Nassar wins $100,000 Reliable Rentals Grand Prix at Thunderbird Show Park

Tuesday, 23 August 2016
CSI3* Thunderbird Show Park 2016

Nayel Nassar and Lordan have been in top form at Thunderbird Show Park. Photo (c) Rebecca Berry Photography. Nayel Nassar and Lordan have been in top form at Thunderbird Show Park. Photo (c) Rebecca Berry Photography.

Nayel Nassar and Lordan are just unbeatable. After winning Wednesday’s Open Grand Prix, Nayel and his fantastic little gelding (yes, he is a gelding even though FEI keep putting him as a stallion) came through in the $100,000 Reliable Rentals Grand Prix with two beautiful clear rounds to win again.

Nayel commented about going into the jump-off with the smallest horse in the field: “I thought I was at a little bit of a disadvantage with the lines because people were getting 8’s in most places where I had to do 9, but that kind of put me at an advantage for the turns that came right after those lines. In general he’s pretty quick, he turns on a dime and is pretty fast across the ground, I thought that if I could execute my plan it would work out.” And it did!

The class was a full field of 44 starts over a 13 jump course set by Peter Holmes. The course was a good test for the riders with some tricky spots, including the triple combination that caused many to succumb to four faults as it came up quickly off of jump 11 which was a single vertical out of the corner. Jump four also caused multiple rails, it was a big oxer off of a bending line that many couldn’t quite find the right spot.

Twelve riders came back for the jump off, including Americans Rich Fellers, Karl Cook with two rides, Cara Anthony, and Jennifer Gates. Canadians Ben Asselin, Brenda Riddell, and Lisa Carlson and Enrique Gonzalez from Mexico, Nikolaj Hein Ruus from Denmark, and Eric Navet from France. The jump-off was exciting with lots of opportunities for tight turns to gallop spots and a plank right at the end that caused faults for both Lisa and Jenn.

Enrique started the jump off with a clear round of 44.79 seconds. Ben followed but caught a rail on the second to last jump for a time of 43.31. Rich was next in a heartbreaking fast, clear round, but he missed the last jump causing him to have to cross his track to finish with six faults. Karl followed on his first ride Caillou to take the lead with a clear round of 43.74. Lisa unfortunately had the first and last rails down but rode a blistering round with the fastest time of 41.55. Nikolaj was next with a clear round but not fast enough at 44.90 to beat Karl for first.

Brenda also had the first rail down and took the safer turn options to finish at 51.55. Nayel was eighth back in the ring and rode a beautiful round utilizing Lordan’s agility perfectly to the fastest clear time of 42.34. Karl came in with his second horse Tembla but had a rail early so not able to beat Nayel. Jenn rode a wonderful round but just caught the last jump for four faults with a time of 52.15. Eric rode a fast round of 44.70 but with the third jump down wasn’t able to beat the leader. Cara was last to go and rode another clear to finish with a time of 44.70, just fast enough to slip into third. 

Source: Press release from Thunderbird Show Park // Picture © Rebecca Berry Photography

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