Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan achieved the biggest success of his career when he won the Rolex Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ this past weekend.
Making you work for it
The Rolex Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows is notorious for being one of the toughest grand prix classes to exist. With top competition such as Marcus Ehning- who won the previous leg of the Rolex Grand Slam, Eric Lamaze and Kent Farrington the course needed to be tough and FEI course designer Leopolodo Palacios delivered. He presented the riders with steep obstacles, difficult combinations and technical lines.
Deciding first round
The first round course seemed to be too much for some of the competition. At the end there were just seven clear and a total of twelve riders that progressed to the second round.
Going into the second round each of the twelve riders represented a different nation so it truly was a “international” affair. Beezie Madden of the USA was close to having a double clear but unfortunately she was a little behind the pace a incurred one time fault. This left just two riders to go double clear in the second round, Maikel Van Der Vleuten (NED) with Verdi TN and Sameh El Dahan (EGY) with Sumas Zorro. This meant we would have a jump-off.
Van Der Vleuten was first to go and was clear with a time of 42.98 seconds so the pressure was on El Dahan do go fast and clear. He was able to do it by posting a clear round with a time of 42.21 seconds. Just beating Van Der Vleuten by the narrowest margin.
“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.”
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