MYAKKA CITY--Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil on Chili won the $77,300 FEI 2* 1.45m Grand Prix over 45 competitors on March 19 at the TerraNova Hunter/Jumper, Week 3.
“We have a lot of young horses here, or horses that need a little bit more time in the ring doing this height, so riders do a 2* to do this,” said course designer Mauricio Garcia of Portugal.
Fourteen were clean to head into the jump off, with four riders having two horses.
The first in the ring in the jump-off, Pessoa didn’t have the advantage of knowing how the eight-fence course would ride.
He jumped the oxer at fence one on an open stride and galloped Chili forward for nine strides to jump the black and white vertical in front of the VIP Pavilion crowd.
Taking the inside turn between fences two and three, he jumped the purple and red striped oxer at an angle and rolled around to the left to the yellow flower in-and-out on the rail.
“SHE WAS drawn very early and going first of 14 was tough," Pessoa said. "I had a good plan, and I thought that if I could execute it well and everything showed up like I wanted, she would be close because she’s very quick and very competitive. It worked out. It’s unusual that you can win a class of 14 being first, but she was very good. She jumped incredible today."
“It’s really great to be able to show in different locations here in Florida," Pessoa said. "It’s my first time here. I had heard a lot of very good things about it and I’m really pleased to have made the trip to TerraNova. The location is great and everybody is very nice. It’s really a magnificent facility. It has a great future.”
Mark Bluman of Columbia on Justinov BB was last to go in the jump-off and came within .07 seconds of Pessoa’s time, crossing the timers at 39.72 seconds to place second.
Daniel Bluman of Israel was third in 40.51 seconds on Colestina H.
Two days earlier, Bluman riding Cachemire de Braize won the $10,000 FEI 1.40m Welcome Speed over a field of 50, 16 of which were clean.
“I want the winner to take out strides and the young horses to be able to do normal strides a little bit wide without penalizing them,” Garcia said of the jump-off course.
As the ninth in the jump-off, Bluman was clean in 66.550 seconds.
Bluman asked Cachemire de Braize to gallop forward on the bending line between fences eight and nine and Cachemire responded by leaving a stride out.
Cachemire de Braize had previously won the $77,300 FEI CSI2* 1.45m Grand Prix during TerraNova Hunter/Jumper Week 1 in February.
“He’s fast and he’s careful," said Bluman. "He tries to be very competitive. Today’s course was a good course, a very nice, flowing course for the horses to get a nice round before tomorrow’s grand prix, which for sure will be much more technical and bigger. I think Garcia does a great job and we’re very happy to be here again."
“I’ve gotten an A for attendance, I’ve been here every week of competition and I will be here next week also. Clearly, I like it and I enjoy being here. Facilities are great, management is great and it’s really fun to be here,” Bluman said.
By also taking the inside turn between the oxer at fence three and the vertical at four, Tanimara Macari of Mexico on Cordelia GP Z was second in 66.770 seconds, and Pessoa on Quick Step was third int 69.150 seconds.