Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta Canada – July 8, 2023 – The stage was set for the $1,000,0000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup CSI 5*. Riders qualified throughout the week for the opportunity to step foot through the Clock Tower and take a piece of the purse. Thirty-five horse/rider combinations featured on the order of go for the two-round 5* Grand Prix, the top twelve placed horses would return for the second round. After two rounds if there are still riders tied with faults for first place, it will come down to a jump off.
The first round course designed by Santiago Varela (ESP) was an impressive track that spanned 590m with 14 obstacles (17 jumping efforts). Five athletes came through with 4 penalty-points that carried to round two while seven pairs were clear.
The twelve athletes representing seven nations returned for the second round of competition in order or reverse merit. Four of those twelve powered through the second round 10 obstacles (12 jumping efforts) and produced their second clean round. Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP), Nayel Nassar (EGY), Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Brian Cournane (USA) would then had face off in a jump-off.
Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) and Puma HS were the first into the ring and put the pressure on the rest of their competitors, posting their third clean round of the day in 38.27 seconds – now everyone else had to be faster.
Nayel Nassar (EGY) used the speed a scope of the Evergate Stables’ 14 year-old Holsteiner gelding Coronado (San Patrignano Cassini x Acord II) to his advantage. The galloped through the finish line in a time of 35.58 seconds to take the win. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Brian Cournane (IRL) followed with valiant efforts, but both had rails and finished in third and fourth respectively.
“This is just an unparalleled experience being able to show here, especially with the crowds that come in on the weekend. It really feels like it’s (Spruce Meadows) come back to live (after the Global Pandemic). It’s just such a special place (Spruce Meadows). It feels great to walk into the International Ring – the ambience is second to none.” – Nayel Nassar (EGY) on competing at Spruce Meadows.
Final Results – $1,000,0000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup CSI 5*
1) Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Coronado – 0 / 0 / 0 – 35.58
2) Sergio Álvarez Moya (ESP) & Puman HS – 0 / 0 / 0 – 38.27
3) Mario Deslauriers (CAN) & Emerson – 0 / 0 / 4 – 38.42
Source: Press Release (edited) from Spruce Meadows Media
Photos: © Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk / Jim Wells