Wellington, Florida, USA – March 28, 2019 – Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Lucifer V won the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Rd 12 CSI 5* yesterday during the twelfth and final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida, USA.
A total of fifty-nine combinations entered the International Arena to face the course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA). The time allowed of 80 seconds was not a major issue but the triple combination, mainly element b, caused havoc for several competitors, keeping them from advancing to the decisive round.
Wilton Porter (USA) and Caletto Cabana (Cassini I x Mercury) were the first ones to compete, just missing out on qualifying for the jump-off due to one time penalty. Lucy Davis (USA) and Caracho 14 (Dobel’s Cento x Acodetto) were the next ones in and the first to overcome all the jumps and qualify for the jump-off.
The American was joined by 27 other pairings, including the likes of Beezie Madden (USA) Nayel Nassar (EGY), Tiffany Foster (CAN), Mario Deslauriers (CAN), Kent Farrington (USA), Laura Kraut (USA) and Karen Polle (JPN), just to name a few.
Six out of the 28 eight combinations withdrew from taking part in the tiebreaker. Moreover, two were eliminated and two other decided to retire.
Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Lucifer V went early in the jump-off but that did not keep them from claiming the victory. The Egyptian guided the Evergate Stables’ 13-year-old bay Westphalian gelding (Lord Dezi x Grandeur) in lightning speed around the track while taking tight turns too, registering the winning mark in 35.909 seconds.
There was suspense in the air as Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) entered the International Arena to challenge the leaders. As usual the American was very fast yet still clean, falling just short with a time of 36.705 seconds.
Spencer Smith (CAN) and Theodore Manciais (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Power Light) completed the podium with a penalty-free jump-off effort in 36.832 seconds.
Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Lucifer V with ringmaster Steve Rector during the awards ceremony
Nayel Nassar (EGY)
On the Winning Partnership with Lucifer V
“It’s surreal really, something has clicked in Lucifer’s head in the last couple of months and he’s an extremely gifted horse. I’m really grateful I have him. He adds a little bit of depth to my string so I could keep Lordan a little fresh and have a good result out west and then come here and try to clean up a bit with Lucifer.”
On Thursday’s Class
“I was surprised to see so many clears. I thought the first course walked difficult enough, but I think everyone is in good form. It’s the last week of the circuit and it’s a big CSI 5* week. We’ve got a lot of good horses here. Luckily for me, I went early in the jump-off so I didn’t have much to think about, except try to go fast and leave them up. He’s just naturally such a quick horse that I knew if I could be neat everywhere and stay on top of my turns that he would be tough to catch and he was today.”
On Lucifer V
“He’s a little quirky for sure,but I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other really well now. I think he trusts me and I trust him. I’ve learned to ignore whatever happens in the warmup ring because he tends to be a little lazy out there, but once he gets in the ring he’s really on top of the job and he’s a really fun horse for me to ride and to have. It took a little while [to figure him out]. We struggled a bit with consistency in the beginning. He’d put in a really good round and then come back and be not so good, so we’ve been trying to find some sort of consistency and luckily it’s finally coming all together at the right time. He goes in a very simple bridle, just a normal snaffle. We keep him as happy as possible. He goes in the field a bunch. I try not to kill him at home, I do very little gymnastics and just keep him fit on the flat by taking him on the track and on the grass. I try to keep things different and entertaining for him. I think really, it’s all about managing his brain and keeping him happy. Now he’s in a really good place mentally and it reflects with his rounds.
On the Jump-off
“I think everywhere Lucifer just has such natural speed so I did 8 [strides] and 8 [strides] down the first 2 jumps and really let him gallop. I think my turn back to the double was really neat, I got 8 strides in that turn as well – and then I left one [stride] out to the last. I don’t think anyone else was able to do that. It was his natural speed the whole way around, his ability to leave strides out and also turn so sharp that made it hard for people to catch him.”
On the Next Competitions
“He’ll jump Saturday night [$500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*] and then a month off until the New York Masters [Longines Masters of New York]. I will take him to Europe, starting in Madrid.”
Results – $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round XII CSI 5*
Place / Rider / (Country) / Horse / (Sire x Dam Sire) – Rd 1 Penalties / Rd 1 Time | Jump-off Penalties / Jump-off Time
1) Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Lucifer V (Lord Dezi x Grandeur) – 0 / 75.04 | 0 / 35.909
2) Kent Farrington (USA) & Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) – 0 / 75.12 | 0 / 36.705
3) Spencer Smith (USA) & Theodore Manciais (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Power Light) – 0 / 76.53 | 0 / 36.832
4) Ali Ramsay (CAN) & Hermelien Vd Hooghoeve (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve) – 0 / 77.32 | 0 / 38.700
5) Beth Underhill (CAN) & Count Me In (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes) – 0 / 75.23 | 0 / 39.779
6) Harrie Smolders (NED) & Cas 2 (Indoctro x Numero Uno) – 0 / 75.24 | 0 / 40.79
7) David Blake (IRL) & Keoki (Catoki x Cassini I) – 0 / 79.83 | 0 / 41.742
8) Markus Beerbaum (GER) & Cool Hand Luke 4 (Contendro x Jovena) – 0 / 78.62 | 0 / 44.984
9) McLain Ward (USA) & Noche de Ronda (Quintender x Loves Corinth) – 0 / 79.18 | 4 / 38.155
10) Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) & Chacciama (Chacco Blue x Andiamo Z) – 0 / 76.46 | 4 / 38.779
11) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Indra van de Oude Heihoef (Casantos x Action-Breaker) – 0 / 76.39 | 4 / 40.272
12) Laura Kraut (USA) & Confu (Contact Me x Cambridge) – 0 / 77.23 | 4 / 42.754
For full results, click here.
Text: Lo-Ami Souza
Photos: © Sporfot