Nayel Nasser: the Egyptian-American Equestrian show jumper who is getting married to Bill Gates daughter, Jennifer.

by Ebimo Amungo

In 1997, the world was stunned when it was announced that Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales, was dating Dodi Fayed, an Egyptian and was set to marry him. On 29 January 2020, another Egyptian made international headlines when Jennifer Gates, the eldest daughter of the billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates,  announced that she is set to marry, Nayel Nasser, the Equestrian show-jumper who recently helped Egypt to qualify for the Olympics.

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Nayel Nasser is an Egyptian-American professional equestrian and show jumper.  He is an accomplished professional equestrian and show jumper and is one of the most highly rated professionals in the sport.

Parents and early childhood

Nayel was born on 21st January 1991 in Chicago, Illinois. His father is Fouad Nassar and his mother is Iman Herby.

Nayel’s father is Fouad Nassar and his mother is Iman Herby

Nayel Nassar’s parents are relatively wealthy Egyptian immigrants who own an architecture firm, Diwan Interiors International. Nayel also has an elder brother Sharaf.

Fouad Nassar has lived and studied in Giza and Cairo. Iman Harby is from Cairo and studied engineering at Cairo University and architecture at Alexandria University. Nayel stated that he had the benefit of traveling to several countries as a child and he experience several cultures. Today, Nayel is multilingual, fluent in English, Arabic, French, and German.


Nayel Nasser had his early education in Kuwait and attended American School of Kuwait for high school. He later attended of Stanford University where he  earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford in 2013.

Equestrian and show jumping

Nassar’s parents put him and his brother, in a lot of sports as kis including ; football, basketball, volleyball, and tennis, but riding was the one that stuck for Nayel. He got his  first horse when he was ten years old .

“Once you catch the horse bug, it’s hard to kick it,” he once said.

Nayel Nasser’s love for horses and equestrian sport blossomed as he grew and entered university. He was active on Stanford Universities equestrian team .

As he wound down is studies in Stanford University in 2013, he had to decided whether to pursue a professional career in show jumping.  Nayel told Horse Network that he had a choice to make during his last semester at Stanford. He was already competing as a show jumper but many of his friends had regular jobs lined up after graduation.

Professional accomplishments

In 2012, Nayal won the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series at the Winter Equestrian Festival. That same year, he qualified for the London Olympics as a reserve rider for Egypt. In 2013, Nayel won the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties in New York.

Nasser qualified for the FEI World Cup Finals in 2013, 2014 and 2017, and the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2014. Most recently, he competed at the Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Paris, and regularly competes on the international Grand Prix circuit.

He took home the $400,000 Longines Grand Prix of New York, the grand finale of the Longines Masters of New York. He is the first rider to win both the Longines Speed Challenge and the Longines Grand Prix at the same event, and the first to do it with the same horse.

Olympic qualification

Nayel Nassar played a major role in securing Egypt’s spot at the 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo. He helped Egypt qualify by winning the CSIO4- W Nation Cup of Rabat. The feat led to the country’s first Olympic Qualification for the sport in 60 Years. 

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 “It means a lot for me to represent my country, especially with how rough the political situation has been in Egypt for the last few years. There’s always added pressure when you are the only one raising your country’s flag, but it’s a great opportunity and I’m just trying to make Egypt proud,” said Nayel.


Nayel Nasser is also a businessman and in 2014 he launched Nassar Stables LLC and the business is based in the city of Encinitas, which is located in San Diego Country, California.

Dating Jennifer Gates

The relationship between Nayel Nassar and Jennifer Katharine Gates first hit the limelight in early 2017. Jennifer Gates is the eldest child of philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates. Nayel Nassar and Jennifer Gates are both Stanford graduates.  Jennifer graduated with a degree in human biology and is currently attending medical school in New York City.   She is an accomplished equestrian and has been riding horses since she was six.

Jennifer Gates with her father, Bill Gates

It’s unclear when and how they met, but it is obvious their love for horse and their sport brought them together. Nayel and Gates are members of the Paris Panthers, a riding club that competes in various equestrian sporting events. Additionally, Jennifer is the president of Evergate Stables in California, and Nassar is one of the equestrians on Evergate’s team.

As Jennifer said in an interview, “He’s a professional, and I do this as an amateur. So, to be able to share our love and passion for horses with each other is just incredible.”

They made their relationship Instagram official with a Valentine’s Day post in 2017 and celebrated their first anniversary together in January 2018 and have featured on each other’s Instagram posts often.

View this post on Instagram

Power outage vibes ‼️🆘🥵

A post shared by Jennifer Gates (@jenniferkgates) on

On January 29, 2020, Nasser and Jennifer announced their engagement through an Instagram post from Jennifer.

According to the Instagram post, she said “yes a million times over” to the man who “absolutely swept me off my feet”.

“Nayel Nassar, you are one of a kind. Absolutely swept me off my feet this past weekend, surprising me in the most meaningful location over one of our many shared passions,” she wrote in the caption.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jennifer Gates (@jenniferkgates) on

Bill and Melinda Gates also partook in their daughter’s special day with congratulatory posts on social media.

About Nayel Nassar
KNOWN ASNayel Nassar
BIRTHDAYJanuary 21, 1991 Chicago, Illinois
SIBLINGSSharaf Nassar
PARENTSFouad Nassar, Iman Harby
COUNTRYUnited States
JOBEquestrian and Show jumper
OWNSNassar Stables LLC
AFFILIATIONEvergate Stables
ALUMNIStanford University
FIANCÉEJennifer Gates

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