Rodrigo Pessoa and Chili Top the Podium of the $77,300 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 2* 1.45m Grand Prix
The $77,300 The Estates at TerraNova FEI 2* 1.45m Grand Prix crowned Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and the 11-year-old Westphalian mare Chili (Consolidator x Belotte De La Vie Z/Berlin) as the winners during the TerraNova Hunter/Jumper Week 3 competition weekend.
Forty-five horse-and-rider combinations contested Mauricio Garcia’s (PUR) FEI 2* course of 16 jumping efforts. The track included a triple bar oxer to a double combination, a triple combination and several maximum-height and width oxers.
“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,” Garcia shared about his course designing process.
Garcia set the distance between the liverpool at fence seven and the following oxer on a forward seven strides, or if the horse was backed off by the liverpool, a shorter eight strides. After that line, the riders had the opportunity to follow an inside turn to the triple bar, the hardest line on the course. The triple bar was set at 1.47m tall and 1.80m wide followed by four strides to the in-and-out in front of the VIP Pavilion.
Pessoa and Chili were third in the order of go and the first pair to jump clear in 80.07 seconds. With that, the original time allowed of 78 seconds was adjusted to 85 seconds. Fourteen combinations jumped double clear to head into the jump off, with four riders having two horses in the short course.
As the first in the ring for the short course, 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 [out 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.