Tag Archives: Nayel Nassar

Kent Farrington, Nayel Nassar Emerge as Champions on Day 2 of Longines Masters of LA

Top three, from right, Kevin Staut, Nayel Nassar and Samuel Parot.

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 1, 2016) – Day two of the Longines Masters of Los Angeles was nothing short of action-packed as Nayel Nassar and Lordan finished on top after besting the field of competitors in the Longines Speed Challenge. The duo raced against the clock and finished with an impressive time of 63.47 seconds. Kevin Staut and Samuel Parot rounded out the winner’s podium at second and third place with times of 63.90 and 65.18, respectively. Notable attendees who witnessed one of the fastest competitions in equestrian sports included Kaley Cuoco and Karl Kook, Nick Bateman, Rocky Barnes, Johnny and Laeticia Hallyday, Guillaume Canet and James Caan.

Unique to the Longines Masters Series, the Longines Speed Challenge emphasizes the swiftness of the horses as each fault is only penalized by 2 seconds as opposed to the standard 4. With a fallen rail meaning a lesser consequence, riders and their horses focus on getting through the course as fast as possible.

Longines, the Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the event, facilitated a conversation between elite equestrian and daughter of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Georgina Bloomberg, and reigning Olympic slalom gold medal winner Mikaela Shiffrin. The two athletes discussed the importance of timekeeping and precision in show jumping and alpine skiing. Later, Shiffrin joined Bloomberg for a traditional walking of the course to learn how the equestrian athlete assesses and prepares for the exact spacing between and height of the jumps ahead of a class.

Riders and horses of all levels found success throughout the day at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles. Kent Farrington and Creedance took home the Champagne Barons de Rothschild Trophy in the afternoon’s CSI 5* Masters class. In the Prestige CSI 2* playing field, Jamie Barge and Luebbo claimed the Hermès Sellier Trophy, while Estelle Navet and Revann de Lojou claimed the Jonathan Adler Trophy. The National class finished with Sarah Ryan and Costa de Baugy Z winning the Grand Prix Relay Trophy, and Alyce Bittar besting her sister, Amelie Bittar, to take home the Just One Eye Trophy.

In addition to a weekend of world-class equestrian competition, guests of the Longines Masters of Los Angeles were also treated to the thrill of high-speed indoor polo when the La Martina Polo Exhibition took the ring. Hosted by La Martina, a leader in developing new high-tech equipment for the sport of Polo, with support from the Santa Barbara Polo Club, the fast pace and physical contact of the game, the strength and maneuverability of the horses, and the skill and accuracy of the players, provided an enthralling spectacle for all Longines Masters fans.

Also on Friday at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles, Santi Serra returned for an encore performance with his Sercam Show, demonstrating the beauty and grace of the horses as well as the bond and trust that they’ve cultivated. Throughout the day, guests were treated to live musical performances by the Pendleton Sisters, DJ Jeremie, and Reverend Tall Tree.

To purchase tickets for the remaining events of the 2016 Longines Masters of Los Angeles, visit www.longinesmasters.com/en/tcketing. Catch the American Leg of the Grand Slam Indoor of Show Jumping when the Longines Grand Prix and Longines Speed Challenge air on the CBS Sports Network on Monday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Prepare to be enthralled by world-class show jumping with the best horses in the world and champion riders.

Sunshine Sachs – LLAMpress@sunshinesachs.com
212.691.2800 | 323.822.9300

Nayel Nassar and Lordan Win Last West Coast Qualifier at HITS Thermal

Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Lordan claim victory of the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping in Thermal. (FEI/Bret St Clair)

Thermal, California, 14 February 2016 – Under the desert sun, Egypt’s Nayel Nassar showcased his close partnership with longtime mount Lordan to win in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Thermal CSI3*-W. In the seventh and final event on the West Coast, the 25-year-old rider guided the 12-year-old, Hanoverian gelding (Lordanos x Landor) to a double clear that bested a field of 20.

Competing over a sprawling course designed by Germany’s Martin Otto, the riders tested their skills and their horses’ scope against the demanding double and triple combinations, short distances, wide oxers, and problematic shadows. From walking the course, competitors noted that the course would jump with difficulties, which ultimately proved true when only three pairs finished the first round without faults.

“Today was the final World Cup qualifier on the West Coast so I designed the course to be more like one in an indoor because the Final is in an indoor,” said Otto. “We had top level riders and horses so I was really fine with the outcome of three in the jump off.”

Risky business

France’s Eric Navet and Catypso (Catoki x Calypso II) and the United States’ Jamie Barge and Luebbo (Lord Pezi x Stakkato) joined Nassar and Lordan in the final round. First to go, Navet had an uncharacteristic misjudgment of strides in the course’s first line, and the 9-year-old, Hanoverian gelding forced a rail down.

“All three of us were fighters, and I was lucky enough to go last, and Eric had to go first and he had to take a big risk,” said Nassar.

“I’ve ridden Catypso since he was 6,” said Navet. “He’s come a long way. It took a good time to get him to understand (jumping clear). He has unbelievable, with easy scope, and I feel like I can jump anything; he just needed to figure it out and improve his technique.

“I’m very proud of him and very satisfied to have such a great finish in a challenging course. I really feel like he did that easily (today) which makes me optimistic for the rest of the year and the rest of his career.”

On the rise

Next in the jump-off order, Barge continued to build her consistency in delivering clear rounds, leaving all the rails standing aboard her 11-year-old, Oldenburg gelding. A long gallop to the final Longines oxer also helped her take seconds off the clock to finish in 49.64 seconds, but a more conservative track left the door open.

“I worked with him a lot on his flatwork and his rideability in the summer,” said Barge about her partner for the last two years. “If I can get the rideability, he’s got the scope and the heart to do it. I’m excited that it’s come together.”

In November, the 29-year-old rider finished second to McLain Ward (USA) in the $100,000 Coachella Valley Classic at HITS Sunshine Series II CSI5*, also held at the HITS Desert Horse Park.

“My horse is a really good horse,” she added. “He’s a little bit spunky and has some attitude but that’s what I love about him. This was his first World Cup qualifier class, and it was the biggest class that I’ve seen here in three or four years that I’ve been coming (to Thermal).”

Back with a bang

But it was Nassar with his deceptively fast gelding that managed to stop the timers at 48.19 seconds, despite adding an extra stride in the second line. An inside turn and a faster gallop proved strategy enough to steal the lead and seal the victory.

“I only kind of saw Jamie go, but people said that she didn’t go inside the Longines oxer, going away from the gate, so I knew if I slipped inside there, I didn’t have to go crazy to catch her,” Nassar said. “I did six strides in the first line, eight in the second line; my horse has small stride. But then it was just a matter of jumping the last two jumps clean.”

So as the palm trees dotted the skyline and the California temperatures soared, he returned to the winter circuit showgrounds of his formative, junior years by making a big mark, after a year spent developing young horses and bringing Lordan back from an injury.

“I graduated Stanford in 2013, and I’ve been based in San Diego with my own horse business,” he said. “I’m mostly a horse trainer, with one client that I teach; I like to work with horses more than people. I’ve been lucky so far, with a great group of horses that I’ve been able to produce to the top level.

“We bought Lordan at the end of his 6-year-old year and started him as a 7-year-old. He’s coming off an injury. He was off almost all of last year. I’ve basically been without my best horse for an entire year, but I was able to build up the string behind him. Now he’s back and Thermal is just his second show. I took him to the World Cup qualifier in Mexico, and he was in great form. I was just rusty, and we had one down. He’s missed the sport just as much as I missed him.”

Although Nassar and Lordan have had a late start to the World Cup season, the pair still hopes to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, for Egypt. “I’ve gone twice already to the World Cup Final, and I hope to go again,” he said. “I really love Gothenburg. Lordan’s jumped there before, and it was unbelievable there.”

West Coast growth

The top three finishers are frequent visitors to the HITS Desert Horse Park, and President and Chief Executive Officer of HITS, Inc., Tom Struzzieri voiced his excitement for the area’s growth in the sport.

“It was super to have Longines here for the World Cup qualifier,” he said. “I was excited to have Longines here because the presence of sponsorship raises the bar, it raises our game. It was an afternoon class, but it had an electric, almost evening atmosphere. Hats off to Longines for being involved in the sport. It’s really exceptional. Great sponsors make for a great class.”

Struzzieri also expressed his high expectations for the coming years of the newly launched North American League and its stop in Thermal. “Especially next year, with the World Cup Final being in the United States and later in the season, that’s going to make for great sport here,” he added. “Those particulars are going to make next year very cool for us.”

Full results: bit.ly/1PKH53w

Facts and Figures

In the first round, 3 horses went clear, 3 had 4 faults, 4 had 8 faults, 5 had 12 faults, 1 had 13 faults, 1 had 17 faults, 1 was eliminated, and 1 retired.

The course designer was Martin Otto (GER).

The first round was contested over 13 obstacles with 16 jumping efforts. The jump-off round had 8 obstacles with 9 efforts. The maximum height was set at 1.60 meters.

Six nations were represented in the class: Canada (7 riders), Egypt (1 rider), France (1 rider), Germany (1 rider), Mexico (1 rider), and the United States (9 riders).

About HITS Thermal Desert Circuit

HITS Desert Circuit features eight weeks of USEF premier-rated hunters and jumpers with total prizes of nearly $3 million. Spanning nine weeks (with one off-week) in late January through mid-March, the circuit draws thousands of equestrians to the premier Southern California show grounds. The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping in Thermal and the annual AIG $1 Million Grand Prix highlight this circuit, and in 2016 HITS will debut a $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Week VIII.

HITS Desert Horse Park is located just 45 minutes from Palm Springs. After setting roots in Indio, California, in the mid-1990s, the shows moved to the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal in 2007. In 2013, HITS held its first AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, a tradition that continues today.

Official fan site – www.feiworldcup.com/NAL

The FEI has developed an official fan microsite for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, enabling fans to find all the latest information for this brand new series under one digital umbrella.

Fans can keep close tabs on the athletes competing in this exciting series as they do their utmost to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 23-26 March 2016.

Tickets can be purchased through the fan site, with event-specific information uploaded regularly by the organisers of the events in this series for fan enjoyment.

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League

A total of 14 athletes from the new North American League will qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico will qualify for the Final, alongside winners of the 13 other leagues from around the world.

The North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Final.

The new league was launched by Beezie Madden, the most decorated US female equestrian athlete of all time, American Gold Cup winner and FEI Solidarity Ambassador Jessica Springsteen, and Hannah Selleck, team and individual gold medalist at young rider level and one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars. Full launch release here: https://goo.gl/kCIsyW.

Share images, video, experiences using hashtag #FEIWorldCupNAL.

By Esther Hahn

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Nayel Nassar Tops Two-Horse Jump-Off, Wins $33,500 HITS Desert Classic on Lordan

©Flying Horse Photography. Nayel Nassar and Lordan jump to a win in the $33,500 FEI HITS Desert Classic.

THERMAL, CA (February 21, 2014) – It all came down to the gallop in the $33,500 FEI HITS Desert Classic, presented by Zoetis, at HITS Thermal on Thursday. With only two horses in the jump-off, Nayel Nassar put the speed of his nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lordan to the test and bested Bliss Heers by fractions of a second.

Nassar of Santa Clara, California represents the colors of Egypt and secured a jump-off in the HITS Desert Classic after chasing down Heers’ early clear in the first round. They would eventually be the lone two to advance.

Heers, who hails from Olivenhain, California, recently returned to American soil after riding in Europe for a time, and was the first to prove that the course designed by Mexico City’s Manuel Esparza could be jumped. She piloted Cesar, a 12-year-old gelding, for Bridgeside Farms, LLC. Heers and Nassar topped a field totaling 24 over a track of 13 obstacles and raced a tight time allowed of 80 seconds.

“It didn’t walk big – was fairly technical – but a tight time can make any track difficult,” said Nassar. “I was a little surprised that there were only two clears, but I’m not complaining.”

The clock indeed proved to be the trick as seven were kept from the jump-off with a single time fault. Heers went clean in the third go, while Nassar prompted a jump-off from the 19th position in the original order. In the jump-off, Heers set an immediate Great American Time to Beat of 40.28 seconds, putting all the pressure on Nassar and Lordan. Nassar jumped the first six fences of the course, including a double combination, relatively conservatively, but left nothing to chance in the last line.

From fence six, a long gallop stood between Nassar and the final jump. “When I landed, I looked at the clock and saw that I only had ten seconds to get to the other end of the ring, so I put the pedal to the metal,” he admitted.

Lordan extended his stride, jumped the final fence and landed in 39.48 seconds for the win. “He is a very quick horse and once I put him in gear, he set his eyes on the fence and that was all it took,” said Nassar. “He is a small, compact horse, so he sits on his hind end really quickly and I had no problem getting him back after the gallop.”

Cheers exploded from the on looking crowd as the pair’s nail-biting effort to the last fence paid off, delivering Nassar the win and Heers second. With the fastest of the time-fault rounds over the original course, Ashlee Bond Clarke of Hidden Hills, California rode the Little Valley Farms’ mare Chela LS to third. Also with one time fault apiece, Jenna Margaret Thompson of Calgary, Alberta jumped her own Webster to fourth, while Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez capped the top five on his own Quilebo De Tillard.

With the momentum they gained in the HITS Desert Classic, Nassar and Lordan will jump in Saturday’s FEI World Cup Qualifier, but Nassar admits that the pressure is off. “We are locked into the World Cup Finals already, but I obviously want to be competitive in every class,” he said.

Along with his FEI World Cup goals, Nassar is also pointing Lordan to million-dollar glory. The pair is hoping for a repeat of last year’s win in the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York when they return to the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix on March 16. Nassar also announced that he may even have his eye on the HITS Triple Crown of Show jumping – he and Lordan plan to make their way to Ocala, Florida the week after the AIG Million to jump in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix on March 24.

“We have been aiming for the Millions all circuit and Lordan has the experience, but I just have to remind myself to ride them like any other classes,” said Nassar in reaction to the possibility of a second, and maybe third million-dollar victory. “I didn’t jump him too much the first half of the circuit and I plan to keep him really fresh during second half as well.”

World Cup qualifying will return to HITS Thermal on Saturday with the $50,000 Purina Animal Nutrition Grand Prix CSI-W2*, presented by Zoetis. Also, with only three weeks left to secure a spot, the race for the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix is on.

About Zoetis
Building on 60 years of experience as Pfizer Animal Health, Zoetis delivers quality medicines and vaccines, complemented by diagnostics products and genetics tests and supported by a range of services. They work every day to better understand and address the real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals in ways they find truly relevant. Zoetis produces a comprehensive range of safe and effective products, including equine vaccines, dewormers and sedative analgesics, to help professionals and individual horse owners keep their animals healthy. Both veterinarians and horse owners know and trust the Zoetis will help their horses live longer, healthier lives.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Nayel Nassar and Lordan Head East for Big Money Glory in Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix

©ESI Photography. Nayel Nassar and Lordan jump their way to Zoetis Million glory.

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 8, 2013) – Nayel Nassar of Stanford, California proved that a 3,000-mile trip across the U.S. was well worth the effort today when he rode Lordan to a hard-fought victory in the fourth-annual Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties. With the post-competition tunes of Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell playing in the background, Nassar prepared to make the trip home to Stanford, California $350,000 richer.

Nassar, who rides for Egypt, and the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding he piloted to the coveted victory were one of only three riders to crack Olaf Petersen Jr.’s course. “I can’t believe this – it’s very surreal, but this horse has been on a roll lately,” said Nassar who is a senior at Stanford University in California and will soon graduate with a degree in Economics. Upon graduation he plans to ride professionally for Egypt in the U.S.

Coming off a big two weeks on the West Coast, Nassar and Lordan were the second pair to ride clear. New Zealander Sharn Wordley of Ocala, Florida and Ashland Stables’ Derly Chin De Muze posted an early clear round in the third trip of the order, but crossed the timers just fractions over the 83-seconds time allowed for one time fault. Twenty-one rounds later, Nassar put together the winning formula with a fault-free ride in 82.76 seconds. He was later joined by Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida who guaranteed a two-horse jump-off with his own Quality Girl.

“This is the biggest class this horse has jumped and I was definitely worried when I saw Todd go clear, but my plan was to put as much pressure on him as possible while leaving all the jumps up,” said Nassar. “Lordan jumped incredibly and was very careful.” Nassar bought the gelding as a six-year-old and admittedly took it slow with his progression. A spooky ride at the start, Lordan matured nicely over the past couples year, according to Nassar, and has kicked off elite competition on a high note with this weekend’s win.

Nassar’s clear jump-off round in 45.63 seconds was enough to keep Minikus on his toes, but Quality Girl was composed and focused as she entered the ring. After a thrown right front shoe early in the first round, Quality Girl attacked the jump-off course under less than perfect conditions. “I hate to make excuses, but she wasn’t quite herself as we warmed up for the jump-off,” said Minikus. When a rail came down, the pair was still guaranteed second and Minikus elected to pull up, airing on the side of his horse’s well-being. “It speaks volumes for the footing that my horse was able to jump the majority of that course without a shoe,” he added.

Wordley and Derly Chin De Muze finished third while Margie Engle of Wellington, Florida rode Elm Rock Partners, LLC’s Royce to the fastest four fault effort in the first round for fourth. Capping the top five and still cashing a $75,000 prize money check, Hugh Graham piloted King Ridge Stables’ Distant Star 3E to four faults just three tenths of a second behind Engle.

While the buzz surrounding the Zoetis Million is rightfully the prize money, the course is always second on everyone’s mind. Petersen of Meunchen, Germany set the track for the second year in a row and was pleased with the result. “The thing I liked the most is that there were no falls. It’s rare to have that at this level and I am happy that everyone had a good experience,” he said. “The results prove that the difficulty was just right.”

Nassar rode in the inaugural AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal, California this winter and was eager to compare the difficulty between his two million-dollar experiences. While the course was smaller in height, difficulty crept its way to the surface through other channels. “It was very technical and every stride kept us thinking,” he said.

Tom Struzzieri, President and CEO of HITS Horse Shows acknowledged that today’s course was a prime example of how he wants his $1 million dollar classes to function. Despite a difficult time to beat and scattered faults, Struzzieri is confident that the course helped to make each and every horse better for having jumped it. “Even the ones not in the top spots had a good day,” he said.

Struzzieri announced that this year marked the first of a two-year contract with Zoetis as the presenting sponsor of HITS Shows grand prix nationwide. With the promise of a 2014 Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix, the health of show jumping in North America continues to improve. “It’s very unique to have a sponsor as dedicated to the sport and committed to advancing it as Zoetis is,” said Struzzieri.

Stuart Meikle of Zoetis agreed that with more classes like this, coupled with increased interest from competitors and spectators alike, this country is on its way to having horse sport become a part of everyday American life.

Minikus, the only American rider represented in the top three, revealed that when he used to dream of becoming a grand prix rider he never thought the sport would reach the level that it has in this country. “Where prize money is concerned, we are pushing the sport to equal events like golf and tennis,” he said.

With sponsors like Zoetis willing to invest in the sport and organizations like HRTV dedicated to shining a spotlight on the athletes, there is a promise that show jumping will continue to gain traction in North America and beyond. As the sun set on the 2013 HITS Saugerties season, attention has already turned to 2014 and the three $1 million dollar events that will take place as part of the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping in Thermal, California; Ocala, Florida; and Saugerties, New York.

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, with a focus on both farm and companion animals. The company generated annual revenues of $4.3 billion in 2012. It has more than 9,300 employees worldwide and a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company, visit www.zoetis.com.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Lordan Win $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix

Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Palouchin Win Wire to Wire in $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic; Keenan and Jacobs Take USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Wins

Nayel Nassar and Lordan. Photos © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 24, 2012 – Egypt’s Nayel Nassar proved to be the best in Friday night’s $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix, presented by Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte. Nassar and Lordan, owned by Nayel and Sharaff Nassar, won in a jump-off of three over a challenging course for victory. Katie Dinan (USA) and Grant Road Partners’ Sandro were second, while Caitlin Ziegler (USA) and Dollar Van’t Eigenlo CH, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, finished third.

The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.

Continue reading Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Lordan Win $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix