Las Vegas—Nov. 18
Nayel Nassar felt the pressure as last to go in the $135,000 Longines FEI Las Vegas World Cup qualifier, held at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa’s South Point Equestrian Center. His 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding Lordan could feel it too, but it helped that Nassar knew exactly what needed to be done to take over the class lead and win.
The pair were one of six combinations to ride faultless opening rounds over Anthony d’Ambrosio’s track, and their jump-off effort came on the heels of Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti’s model round.
“It was a fast jump-off; I knew Wilhelm set a really tough time to beat,” said Nassar. “He was really efficient everywhere on a horse that has a bigger stride than mine, so I just knew I had to be nice and neat in my turns and just not go too crazy down the long lines.”
Nassar pushed through to deliver the winning time of 34.57 seconds, taking home valuable points towards the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup’s North American Western Sub-League standings. He currently sits third.
“I’ve had a really long year,” said Nassar. “I’ve had a lot of great experiences over in Europe jumping some really big tracks, so I just feel like I’ve grown a lot as a rider this year. Thanks to Evergate Stables I have a deeper string than I usually do, which allows me to rest Lordan and kind of just use him as sparingly as possible.”
His latest accomplishment comes a week after he and Lordan won the $100,000 Longines FEI Thermal World Cup qualifier at the HITS National Sunshine II on Nov. 10 in California. And in the hours leading up to the Las Vegas World Cup qualifier, Nassar also won the $50,000 1.45-Meter Las Vegas National Winning Round Jumper Classic with newer ride Lucifer V.
“[Lordan’s] just jumping really great right now,” said Nassar. “This is his third week in a row he hasn’t touched a fence, basically, except for that one time I crashed him through the last. He’s on fire right now, and I’m happy he gets to have a nice little break now and enjoy a well-deserved holiday.”
Genn and Bugatti finished second, and Australia’s Harley Brown and Mylord Cornet closed out the top three.
We’re on site at the AON/USHJA National Championships all weekend to bring you news, photos and results. Check back all weekend for more!