After a year’s lay-up, Nayel Nassar’s star Lordan returns to California competition with Saturday’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Thermal class. Fans will be thrilled to see the 12-year-old Hanoverian back in action. Fellow competitors, maybe not so much because he’s always been a scene-stealer.
Lordan was Nayel’s partner in the 2013 victory at the HITS Zoetis $1 Million class in Saugerites, NY, then they finished second in the HITS $1 Million class at Thermal in 2014. For all of last year, though, he was sidelined recovering from an injury.
He may be better than ever, says Nayel, who represents Egypt and is based in Southern California. “He’s the same performance-wise, but maybe has a little more spunk in his step. He’s a competitive horse and he missed it.
“At the same time, he had done so much earlier in his career, I think he appreciated the time off. We were very patient with him and made sure he was back at 100 percent.”
It’s another freakishly warm February in the California desert and Saturday’s temperatures are expected to be 90s-plus. “The heat is going to be tough for sure,” says Nayel of the unusual afternoon timing. But it was hot when they finished second in the $1 Million class two years ago and Lordan’s only other outing for the week will be Thursday’s pre-qualifier, so the rider expects him to be rested and ready to go.
Lordan (Lordanos x Landor S) has a spooky nature. “I think that’s what makes him so careful and sharp.” Otherwise, “he’s a pretty mellow guy and a total sweetheart. He loves people, he’s kind and he always wants to do his job and fight for me in the ring.”