Nayel Nassar Takes Scorching Opening Win CSI5* LGCT Berlin

Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso

The opening CSI5* class of the weekend at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Berlin kicked off in style under blue skies with a stunning win for Nayel Nassar (EGY) with his 9 year old bay gelding Dee Jee.

Speaking about his win today, Nayel said: “I’m really proud of my horse, he’s nine but a late bloomer, I’m happy and he rose to the occasion today. Frank {Rothenberger} did a wonderful job, [the course was] very flowing and with a few options to turn.”

Second went to young Belgian star Jos Verlooy (BEL) with Domino, and third to Denis Lynch (IRL) with RMF Zecilie.

Frank Rothenberger’s first course of the weekend was fair but no mean feat. Tight turns, and big fences coming up fast, all set within the natural amphitheatre of the Sommergarten’s layout. Spectators lined the edge, with a busy grandstand and bustling VIP adding to the atmosphere of anticipation and excitement.

Of the 50 starters, first to go clear was Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) who put in a tidy effort with top stallion, the nine year old Chilli Willi, but the duo picked up a time fault in the second phase. Quick to follow clear, and the initial pace setter was Denis Lynch (IRL) with RMF Zecilie, setting the time to beat at 28.48s.

The Longines oxer, featuring a liverpool underneath seemed to cause the most trouble, with many pulled in too deep and taking out the first rail, including Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Davendy, Pieter Devos (BEL) and Gin D, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani (QAT) with Carolina and Leopold van Asten (NED) with VDL Greop Beauty to name just a few.

Shocks came when Bertram Allen (IRL) and his relatively young horse GK Casper were eliminated after an unusual tumble, and Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) had trouble at the first after Balou de Coeur Joye crashed through the DKB oxer after trying to add another stride, with the top Italian rider having to hop off to adjust his horse’s bridle.

Nayel Nassar (EGY) with Dee Jee soon raised the temperatures in the first CSI5* class of the weekend, riding a stylish round to stop the clock in 27.94s, a full second ahead of the rest of the pack. Hot on his heels came young gun Jos Verlooy (BEL) with Domino, who put in a foot-perfect round to stop the clock just behind in 28.24s. Further clears came from Simon Delestre (FRA) and Hermes Ryan, Lucy Davis (USA) and Caracho 14, Janne-Friederike Meyer (GER) with Indi, and Simone Blum (GER) with DSP Alice.

Ludger Beerbaum (GER) put in a tidy effort with Chacon, leaping clear in 27.94s to the delight of the home spectators. But it was Nayel Nassar (EGY) who shone during the first CSI5* class

The next class, the first round of the Global Champions League of Berlin will kick off at 17:15. Tune in via Facebook Live and on our Livestream to watch all the action as it unfolds, and find out who comes out in pole ahead of Saturday’s final.

LGCT Berlin Opener, Top Twelve: