Rodrigo Pessoa proved unbeatable in the FEI/Gandini Top 10 Final in Geneva on Saturday (6 December), where a capacity crowd watched him claim the 36,000 CHF first prize with the stallion Baloubet du Rouet.
The Brazilian rider’s success was all the more remarkable because he had been feeling unwell on Thursday and Friday prior to the final but was nevertheless determined to compete.
“This is a unique competition. My horse jumped very well in both rounds and I am very happy to win it. Im still not 100% but I was well enough to stay on the horse and be transported,” said Rodrigo.
Just five riders were clear over the first course and, in the jump-off, Marcus Ehning and For Pleasure had the best time but hit one fence to finish in third place.
Lars Nieberg opted for a careful clear and was rewarded with runner-up spot with Lucie but Rodrigo was nine seconds faster to claim the main honours.
Britain’s only representative, Robert Smith, had four faults in the first round with Kalusha to finish in sixth place.
World number one, Markus Fuchs, was forced to retire in the opening round due to a thigh-muscle problem, which has been bothering him since the summer. He was taken to hospital for medical attention, and it is feared that he may be out of action for some time.
1, Baloubet du Rouet (Rodrigo Pessoa) Bra 0/0 43.44;
2, Lucie (Lars Nieberg) Ger 0/0 52.58;
3, For Pleasure (Marcus Ehning) Ger 0/4 40.90;
4, Goldfever 11 (Ludger Beerbaum) Ger 0/4 44.91;
5, Lando (Otto Becker) Ger 0/4 46.26;
6, Kalusha (Robert Smith) GB 4 49.02;
7, H&M Butterfly Flip (Malin Baryard) 8 44.15;
8, AK Caridor Z (Jos Lansink) Bel 8 47.18;
9, Authentic (Beezie Madden) USA 12 45.37;
10, Tinkas Boy (M Fuchs) Sui Ret.