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Nayel Nassar crowned master of speed in Longines Speed Challenge

Saturday, 27 April 2019
CSI5* Longines Masters of New York 2019

Photo © Longines Masters of New York Photo © Longines Masters of New York


Press release from Longines Masters of New York



Speed demon Nayel Nassar of Egypt and his trusty steed, Lucifer V (Lord Pezi x Grandeur), claimed Friday’s highlight event, racing to victory in the Longines Speed Challenge 1.50m Masters One.

Using the same speed track at the Paris and Hong Kong editions of the Longines Masters, course designer Frank Rothenberger gave competitors numerous options for inside turns and short cuts for those brave enough to chance their luck.

Despite knocking one rail down for a two-second time penalty, Nassar moved to the top of the leaderboard with an adjusted time of 58.45 seconds and stayed there.  Nassar sat on the podium – and on pins and needles – watching the remaining competitors attempt to catch his time.  Kristen Vanderveen of the United States came the closest but still finished more than two seconds off the winning pace with a time of 61.07 seconds, demonstrating just how fast Nassar had been.

“He’s naturally a really quick horse,” said Nassar of Lucifer V, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Evergate Stables LLC.  “I knew that if I got on a bit of a lick and kept it the whole way around, we would be in a pretty good spot.

“It’s Jenn’s birthday today and I told her that I wanted to win one for her so I was really glad that I was able to get it done even with the rail,” continued Nassar in reference to his girlfriend’s, Jennifer Gates, 23rd birthday.  “It’s pretty crazy that we were still able to win the class even with a fence down.”

Nassar, 28, is no stranger to the unique Longines Speed Challenge, the fastest class in show jumping sport.  In 2016, he claimed victory in the same event riding Lordan during the Los Angeles edition before the U.S. leg of the Longines Masters moved east in 2018.

“I really love this Longines Masters Series,” said Nassar.  “It’s a great venue, great footing, good ring.  It provides really good sport and the horses have been jumping really well all week.  I’ve been to Paris and L.A. and now here in New York.”

Finishing behind runner-up Vanderveen and her mount, Bull’s Run Faustino de Tili (Berlin x Darco), was Olivier Philippaerts.  The young Belgian left all the rails in place and raced through the timers in 61.33 seconds riding Insolente des Dix Bonniers (Winningmood van de Arenberg x Concorde).  Switzerland’s Beat Mändli took fourth riding Galan S (Indoctro x Calypso d'Herbiers) to a time of 61.70 seconds while Israel’s Daniel Bluman rounded out the top five with Cartouche in a close time of 61.88 seconds.

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