Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa won the Gandini Top Ten Final in Geneva at the weekend, with a vintage performance from his long-standing partner Baloubet du Rouet.

Last to go in the second round, the 2003 champion only had to jump clear to take the title for the second time in the five-year history of the event. His 16-year-old stallion rose magnificently to the occasion, displaying all his trademark exuberance along the way.

Clear rounds were hard to come by in the first round, with the time proving influential around this true jumping test. Eurocommerce Monaco left all the fences up for Gerco Schroder, but they picked up a single time penalty, as did Marcus Ehning.

Markus Fuchs delighted the home crown when he produced the first clear round of the competition with Granie. Then Baloubet du Rouet bounced into the arena with his usual air of confidence. Pessoa kept him on a short stride over the first few fences and his tactics paid off as the Brazilian partnership left all the fences in place within the time.

Going into the second round Markus Fuchs knew he had crowd on his side, but the bogey rustic oxer caught him out as it had so many before him. Pessoa entered the ring knowing that a clear round would clinch it. The 33-year-old Brazilian star once again produced an extra-special performance when it mattered and his stallion was in a class of his own as they made it look so easy.

“It is fantastic to have a horse like this” said Pessoa, giving the credit to his great partner Baloubet. “He’s an extraordinary horse, now 16 years old but you would never know it”.

Meanwhile in Portugal, Britain’s David McPherson fought off tough competition to win the CSI3* Porto Grand Prix on the 13-year-old Irish-bred horse, Bob’s Diamond. The partnership jumped two faultless rounds to take victory ahead of the French duo Julien Epaillard and Robert Breul. Britain’s Robert Maguire finished in fourth place with Two Mills Showtime.


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