Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan has achieved the biggest win of his career taking the title in the Rolex Grand Prix at CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Canada.
Toughest grand prix
Second place went to Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten, with the USA’s Beezie Madden coming third.
The CP ‘International’ is widely regarded as one of the toughest grand prix competitions on the showjumping calendar, and course designer Leopoldo Palacios didn’t disappoint.
His track featured huge fences, difficult combinations and technical lines. However, it needed to be tough as the world’s best were competing, including defending champion Philipp Weishaupt, Marcus Ehning – who won the previous Rolex Grand Slam leg in Aachen – Eric Lamaze, Kent Farrington and Steve Guerdat.
Dramatic first round
However, it wasn’t to be for many of these top names, and after a dramatic first round there were just seven clears, and a total of 12 riders progressed to the second round.
Only two combinations produced double clears to make it through to the jump-off. First to go was Maikel van der Vleuten, who jumped a third clear with Verdi TN in a fast time of 42.98sec seconds.
However, Sameh El Dahan and Suma’s Zorro sped around the course, to cross the finish line in a time of 42.21sec, beating Maikel by the narrowest of margins.
“This is one of the biggest achievements of my career,” said Sameh. “The feeling is indescribable. I need a few days to make sure everything sinks in and believe that it actually happened.”
Sameh is now the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping, with the next leg at CHI Geneva in December.
“Going forward, the four Majors which make up the Rolex Grand Slam will be at the top of my list to compete at,” said Sameh.
You can watch this world-class event as we are showing Rolex GP Spruce Meadows 2018 As Live tonight at 9pm. We are also showing highlights on Friday 14 at 7pm.