Egyptian flag flies at Thunderbird
From a starting field of 40, none could catch Nayel Nassar (EGY) in a galloping 16-horse jump-off in the CabanaCoast CSI5* 1.50m. Sitting aboard Igor van de Wittemoere (2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Cooper van de Heffinck) for Evergate Stables, Nassar conquered the short track with a second to spare over runner-up Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Donatello 141.
Igor joined Nassar's string in 2020 and was his mount for the 2021 Olympic games in Tokyo. Together, they have formed a partnership that has proved unbeatable and will challenge Sunday's CSI5* Grand Prix at MLSJ Thunderbird.
Rounding out the top three in the CSI5* 1.50m was Ireland's Conor Swail riding Theo 160.
The MLSJ Team Competition takes center stage on Saturday at Thunderbird Show Park with the opening round of the 2022 season where eight teams do battle for an early lead in the overall standings. Meet the teams HERE.
Igor has natural foot speed, so the goal is always to get him in that rhythm and keep him there instead of trying to push him out of it and then shorten him back up. The plan worked out today!
He is definitely really special to us and I think the whole team feels like it was such a process to get him to where he is right now. So, it's really rewarding to see him perform the way he's been performing. In the beginning, he was always so skeptical of everything. Now that we have the trust, he's gotten a lot a lot easier for sure." ~ Nayel Nassar
Click here for the results