Sameh El Dahan rides the Irish-bred mare Suma’s Zorro to the win in the CP International Grand Prix presented by Rolex at The Spruce Meadows Masters
Suma’s Zorro, a little Irish mare with a huge heart, bred in Co Kilkenny by Marily Power and Susan Lanigan O’Keeffe and owned by Antrim’s Joanne Sloan Allen, last night (Sunday) claimed the richest prize in world Show Jumping with Northern Ireland-based Egyptian rider Sameh El Dahan.
The CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, attracted many of the world’s top riders to Spruce Meadows in Canada, watched by over 71,000 fans inside the stadium and many more on live television around the globe.
After three rounds of demanding jumping, 14-year-old Suma’s Zorro and Sameh El Dahan came out on top to collect an incredible top prize of $1 Million.
The top 12 combinations went forward to the second round with Suma’s Zorro among seven horses who jumped clear first time of asking. Ireland’s Conor Swail and Rubens LS La Silla also made it through carrying just a time fault. The second round saw Suma’s Zorro jump another breathtaking clear round – a performance that was only matched by Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) riding Verdi TN to set up a two-way jump-off.
Van der Vleuten went first in the third round decider and set a target of clear in 42.98 seconds. El Dahan and Suma’s Zorro kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, crossing the finish line in 42.21 to take the Million Dollar top prize and to be crowned the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Marily Power, who together with Susan Lanigan O’Keeffe bred Suma’s Zorro at Suma Stud in Kilkenny said: “Suma’s Zorro has given us enormous pleasure. We sold her as a foal at a sale we had in 2004. We have a cracking foal for sale at the moment on Irish Horse Gateway that is closely related to Suma’s Zorro. I have always said, no matter how good they are, if they are not produced the right way they will never reach their full potential. Sameh and Zorro are a brilliant combination.”