Langley B.C. – The Thunderbird Show Park concluded their BC Open with a suspenseful ending, as the $129,000 Nations Week Finale Grand Prix (presented by Domino High Voltage and AmperageEnergy) was raining rails and refusals. While the course made it hard work on the group of 31 riders, victors Nayel Nassar and Lordon did it in flawless style.
Icon Eric Lamaze was an early go in the field, and had a refusal coming out of the line which knocked him from contention. Rich Fellers and Jonathan McCrea both retired their mounts after early rails, leaving to fight another day. Canadian Brian Morton got the first clean round of the day, followed soon thereafter by compatriot Amy Millar. American Karl Cook was painfully close to the jump-off with a clear round, but had a single time fault. He ultimately finished sixth with the best non-jump-off round of the day, and was the best placed American.
Conor Swail, Nayel, and our recently featured Mexican rider Alberto Michan rounded out the clean courses, and the five would return for a tough jump-off.
Brian Morton put together a fantastic jump off but had one rail coming out of the one-stride. Amy Millar caught a vertical coming into the line after coming in at a bit of an angle. Nayel Nassar was clear to take the lead in the jump off, with a scorching time of 35.6 seconds.
Irishman Conor Swail was looking to have a quick and tidy round, but a tight turn cost him a rail and would ultimately settle for fifth. It was left to Alberto Michan who went clear with a time of 36.91 seconds but couldn’t catch Nayel’s fast time of 35.6 seconds.
This is Nayel’s second major win this summer, as he and Lordon also clinched the $60,000 Grand Prix of California, presented by Equ Lifestyle Boutique in mid-May. The pair also won the World Cup Qualifier at HITS Thermal in February of this year.
Peter Holmes, Thunderbird Course Designer said “It was a great competition. The course was big and needed precision riding. The opening line was solved in both eight and nine strides and the triple combination was big coming in. A number of riders were so close to a clear and I was cheering for them, the closest being smooth rider Karl Cook with a fraction of a second over the time. It was exciting to see Canadians Brian and Amy ride beautiful rounds with their fabulous horses and achieve a clear. I thought it was a very tough competition set for the super high caliber of entries we had at Thunderbird.”
1st – Nayel Nassar and Lordan
2nd – Alberta Michan and Gigolo van de Broekkant
3rd – Brian Morton and Atlantis T
4th – Amy Millar and Heros
5th – Conor Swail and Grafton
6th – Karl Cook and Tembla
7th – Tiffany Foster and Victor