Calgary, Alberta, Canada – September 05, 2021 – The final competition of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, delivered a thrilling conclusion to the first week of the 2021 September Series, here at Spruce Meadows.
FEI Course Designer Anthony d’Ambrosio pulled out all the stops for this course, delivering a technical track with a challenging jump-off. Over twenty horse/rider combinations entered the competition, riding a course that featured several combinations and sharp rollbacks. A total of 11 moved on to the jump-off, where riders really had to fight for that first place spot as many proved to be up to the task of keeping the rails up while all the while taking risky chances in an effort to shave precious moments off of their time.
A mere 0.24 seconds separated the top three placings in the CNOOC International Cup. Nayel Nassar (EGY) proved to be untouchable after laying down his clear round with a time of 38.58 seconds, aboard his Olympic mount, Igor van de Wittenmoere. Although Conor Swail (IRL) and Erynn Ballard (CAN) both came unbelievably close to beating his score, leaving Nassar in a sweat as he watched their rounds.
“We really had such a strong field of riders today, they really kept me sweating right up until the last one jumped the last fence,” Nassar admitted during the press conference following his win.
It was a dramatic conclusion to a great week for Nassar, as well as all of the riders and horses here at Spruce Meadows for the ‘National’ tournament. The horses will be taking a well-earned few days of rest before the FEI Jog for the ‘Masters’ on Wednesday, September 8.
Final Results – $137,000 CNOOC International Cup CSI 5*
1) Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Igor Van De Wittenmoere – 0 / 0 – 38.58
2) Conor Swail (IRL) & Count Me In – 0 / 0 – 38.62
3) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Jack Van’t Kattenheye – 0 / 0 – 38.82
Source: Press Release from Spruce Meadows
Photos: © Spruce Meadows Media