Mill Spring, N.C.—Sept. 19
The show jumpers took over the U.S. Trust Arena at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for the opening speed round of the FEI World Equestrian Games.
One rail down couldn’t keep a massive grin off rider Alaa Mayssara’s face. The Egyptian athlete gave his horse Dittorio S huge pats as he came through the timers after the final fence.
“I believe it was a fabulous round. I was so happy more than anybody, because I have had this horse since he was 2 years old,” Mayssara, 38, said. “I did him all the way through, broke him myself, so I was very proud of my baby.”
Mayssara doesn’t usually buy horses so young—he took a chance on the 10-year-old Dutch Warmbood gelding by Vittorio.
“It came totally by coincidence, because we had a revolution in Egypt in 2011, and the revolution blocked all airways,” Mayssara explained. “We couldn’t get horses in or out. I could get one last pallet in and had an open spot, so we got him.”
Mayssara has been riding professionally since graduating college.
“My father used to ride as a hobby. He’s a businessman in Egypt, and then I started training with the Egyptian coach,” Mayssara said. “I got into it more with my father’s support and our federation’s support when I was a young rider, and I started doing this professionally.”
Mayssara’s stable is now based in France, but he is thrilled to be representing his home country of Egypt at the games.
“I’m very happy so far. I’m on top of the moon,” Mayassara said.
For full results from the FEI World Equestrian Games, click here.
For everything you need to know, including broadcast schedules, click here.
For all WEG coverage, click here.
We’ll be onsite for the full two weeks of WEG to bring you all the news you need to know plus gorgeous photos and insight into the competition. Be sure to check out the Oct. 8 issue of the Chronicle for detailed analysis.