Rodrigo Pessoa and the stallion Baloubet du Rouet netted 33,000 euro as winners of the FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier at Paris-Bercy at the weekend.
Going at the halfway stage in the tough 11-horse jump-off, the Brazilian partnership raced into the lead when crossing the line clear in 37.08sec. Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum was a full second slower when slotting into runner-up spot with the talented young stallion Couleur Rubin.
Beerbaum is finding form at just the right time and this result puts him in contention to qualify for the final, which takes place in Las Vegas, USA next month. With 37 points and lying just inside the top-20 on the leaderboard, Beerbaum could make the cut if he can add points from the two remaining qualifying rounds at s’Hertogenbosch in Holland next Sunday and Gothenburg, Sweden the following weekend.
Britain is definitely going to be represented at the final by Nick Skelton and Arko III, who demonstrated that his short break at stud has not affected his ability to perform at the highest level. The British duo jumped clear to stay well in the frame when stopping the clock in 39.52sec. This proved good enough for fifth place, which returned Skelton to the top of World Cup leader board.
Belgium’s Ludo Philippaerts has been thoroughly consistent throughout this indoor season and set a sharp pace in the jump-off with a second clear round from Parco in a good time of 38.81sec. Holland’s Gerco Schroder was next to take up the challenge and also left all the fences standing but was a little slower with Eurocommerce Monaco, who broke the beam in 39.08sec.
Frenchman Florian Angot was quickest when galloping through the finish with First de Launay in 36.58 seconds but they left a pole on the floor, while Switzerland’s Markus Fuchs and Granie had two fences down.
When on form, Baloubet is a difficult horse to beat and Rodrigo knew he was in with a chance as he rode into the ring. Keeping up the pace the whole way around the track the triple World Cup champion cruised through the finish in 37.08sec to re-set the target time and simply could not be caught.
“The time was very fast but Baloubet was feeling good and was jumping really well tonight. I knew I had a good shot to try and win the class and I’m very happy with how he went,” Rodrigo said. “I’m just going to run Baloubet in Gothenburg now and then he’ll be heading for Las Vegas.”
1. Baloubet du Rouet (Rodrigo Pessoa) BRA 0/0 37.08;
2. Couleur Rubin (Ludger Beerbaum) GER 0/0 38.07;
3. Parco (Ludo Philippaerts) BEL 0/0 38.81;
4. Eurocommerce Monaco (Gerco Schroder) NED 0/0 39.08;
5. Arko III (Nick Skelton) GBR 0/0 39.52;
6. First de Launay (Florian Angot) FRA 04 36.58;
7. VDL Groep Eve des Etisses (Hubert Bourdy) FRA 04 37.79;
8. Controe (Marco Kutscher) GER 0/4 38.07;
9. Equest Carnute (Thomas Velin) DEN 0/4 39.08;
10. Shutterfly (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) GER 0/6 49.97.