When Nayel Nassar was looking to add to his string last year, Ivory Tcs, campaigned by Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, ticked all the boxes.

“She’s the right age. She’s totally my type of horse—a lot of blood, maybe not the biggest horse, maybe not the biggest stride, but just a real competitor,” said Nassar.

Ivory Tcs had the record to match, too. In 2022, the Dutch Warmblood mare (Falaise de Muze x Ukato) jumped to 11 podium finishes from Vancouver to Valkenswaard, and her logged first 1.45m Grand Prix win in Wellington, FL.

But when Nassar went to try her, it wasn’t love at first ride.

“I actually didn’t like her that much the first time I [rode her],” confessed the Egyptian Olympian. “She was just very sensitive and a little tricky to steer. And so I just wasn’t sure [it was a good match].”

Nassar didn’t move on the sale right away. But Ivory Tcs’s Jumpr stats over the following months convinced him to take the leap. In 2023, the striking black mare added nine more podium finishes to her record, highlighted by a 1.60m Grand Prix title and four 1.50m wins on the Major League Show Jumping tour.

“She went on and had a brilliant season [with Daniel Coyle] after I tried her the first time, it was hard to turn her down by the end of the year,” said Nassar.

In the four months since, Ivory Tcs has quickly proven her place in his string.

Nassar made his first international appearance with the 11-year-old mare in February at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Florida, jumping clear at a 73% clip and averaging just 1.2 faults over 11 rounds from 1.40m to 1.60m (Jumpr).

A month into the partnership they recorded their first win, a 4* 1.50m Table A speed class at WEF. On Sunday, they captured their second, topping the 5* 1.50m Winning Round at Thunderbird Show Park’s MLSJ Canadian Premier.

“She’s naturally very quick and she doesn’t like to be pushed. So I just kind of set one tempo and try to keep it the whole way,” said Nassar.

“I’d like to keep her at this level around 1.50m, the occasional 1.55m. I think that’s her sweet spot and she tries so hard every time that I don’t think it’s fair to ask her to try even more.”

Suffice it to say, Nassar’s early doubts have been put to rest.

“She’s been a great addition to our team and it’s still early days, but, the early returns have been very, very positive.”