Comments from Nayel Nassar after his third victory in a million-dollar Grand Prix

Credit : HITS Horse Shows (Facebook)

Tuesday 26 March - 15h32 | Edited press releases

Comments from Nayel Nassar after his third victory in a million-dollar Grand Prix

The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit 2019 season wrapped up this past weekend with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, Florida. Chicago native Nayel Nassar, who rides internationally for his parents' homeland Egypt, came out on top of the field with his mount Lucifer V. It was Nassar's third HITS Million Grand Prix victory, alongside a win at the 2018 HITS AIG $1 Million Grand Prix in Thermal and a 2013 triumph at HITS, Saugerties. (Earlier, the rider placed second in another $1 million show down at the show). For comments from the top three finishers, see below.

Nayel Nassar – Great American $1 Million Grand Prix winner
On his win:
“It means a lot just to be able to get this opportunity in these classes. I’ve been jumping these classes since around 2013 and it’s just a huge privilege and opportunity for us as riders to be able to jump for this kind of prize money in this kind of venue. I’ve won all three [HITS] $1 million [grand prix classes] now so I can probably take a break.”

On Lucifer V:
“I’ve had him close to a year now. It’s a super time for us to get to know one another. I think he wanted to test me out a little bit at first and once we kind of got over that hump, the results started to kick in. We were always searching for a little bit of consistency, but we seem to have found that. He’s a super competitive horse and he’s really nice for me to have. I’m extremely thankful to Evergate Stables for giving me the ride. He’s just a really cool horse.”

On the course:
“I wouldn’t say I knew that I had done enough [after going first in the jump-off], but I knew it was going to take quite a bit to beat me. Lucifer is just an extremely fast horse and I didn’t feel like I wasted time anywhere. I did seven [strides] from [fence] one to two and I think people were doing six, but then I was short on the landing side of fence two so I think that was a [factor]. Other than that, he’s just a really quick and careful horse. I thought it was a great course. I think we got the right number in the jump-off for it to be a good class. It’s a really class to build for with 1.50m specs and all types of riders. I think Alan [Wade] did a great job.”

On the toughest fence:
“For me, it was the penultimate vertical. I wasn’t quite sure whether I should do eight [strides] or just ride a direct seven. I originally planned eight but I ended up doing seven and got away with a really hard rub so luck was on my side today. That was something I was a little unsure about just because of the direction the horse drifts. I thought the triple was hard too. It was pretty tough.”

Paul O’Shea – Second place
On his round:
“It didn’t go my way last week but he’s a super horse. He really jumped well and made my job easy so I’m very happy with second. I think that I did all I could in the jump-off so I’m very happy.”

Darragh Kenny – Third place
On the jump-off:
“I thought [Nayel] did an excellent job. His horse is very quick across the ground. I thought it was going to be very difficult for any horse to beat him and none of us could do that today.”


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