Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton Soar to their Second Victory of the September Series in the ATCO Classic Grand Prix

Tiffany Foster and Brighton in the ATCO Classic Grand Prix. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

The fifth and final day of the 2021 Spruce Meadows ‘National’ CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, kicked off with the ATCO Classic Grand Prix in the International Ring on a beautiful autumn morning in Alberta.

The competition saw twenty-one horses and riders take on FEI course designer Anthony Dambrosio’s 13-obstacle (16 jumping efforts) track this morning, with 8 of the riders moving on to a jump-off. 

The jump-off was a thrill to witness, with less than a second separating Kara Chad’s (CAN) second place finish from Tiffany Foster’s (CAN) win. Great rounds were also had by Rowan Willis (AUS), Maria Gabriela Brugal (DOM), and Beezie Madden (USA).

Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton win the ATCO Classic on the final day of the ‘National’.
© Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

The ATCO Classic marks the second win of the ‘National’ tournament by Foster and the 15-year-old gelding, Brighton. Foster is very fond of the gelding, commenting after their win in the RBC Capital Markets Cup earlier this week that she intended to keep him at the FEI 3* level for the remainder of the series. “He’s fifteen years old, and I like to go into those of things, you know, not digging too hard on to him, and making sure that he has a great time every time that he steps through those clock towers,” said Foster.

Click Here for the ATCO Classic Results

Nayel Nassar (EGY) aboard Igor Van De Wittemoere win the CNOOC International Cup on the final day of the ‘National’.
© Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Igor Van De Wittemoere Capture the Win in the CNOOC International Cup

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 Connor 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. 

Click Here for the CNOON International Cup Results