Articles: Press Release
Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa Scores His First WEF Victory with Saturday
$20,000 1.50m Classic Win
PHOTO CREDIT: Rodrigo Pessoa and Sigane Van De Grudeval at WEF
Saturday. Photo by Randi Muster
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington, FL - January 28, 2006 - Cloudy skies and an occasional rain
shower did not dampen the spirits of the large crowd on hand for the
first weekend of action at the 34th edition of the Winter Equestrian
Festival, currently underway at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in
Wellington. Those that were hoping to see Olympic Gold Medalist Rodrigo
Pessoa in action, left satisfied as Pessoa walked away with his first
victory of the nine week long WEF extravaganza, the nation's largest and
longest running series of equestrian events.
Thirty-three starters took the field for $20,000 1.50m Classic, the
featured event at the Internationale Arena. Canadian Olympic Silver
Medalist Michel Vaillancourt is the Course Designer this week. Today's
classic was scored under USEF Table II, Sec. 2(a), Time First Jump-Off.
Of the thirty-three, only six managed to negotiate the first round track
fault free to qualify for the speed phase. One rider was clear with two
time faults, another six riders had a single knockdown, while sixteen
had eight or more.
Sigane Van De Grudeval, owned by M. Sundberg and ridden by Rodrigo
Pessoa, was first in the ring and the first to master the course, making
the Vaillancourt route look like a piece of cake.
Joining Pessoa in the jump-off next, riding out of the seventh spot in
the order, was Canada's Eric Lamaze. He added Steve Cohen's Telegraph to
the second round list with a clean first trip. Evan Coluccio followed
immediately with Champigny, owned by Alex Carl, and produced the third
clear ride of the day.
A dozen more horse and rider combinations went by before Rodrigo Pessoa,
on his second mount, made it four for the upcoming round two. He was
clear with Cantate Z, owned by Orlandi.
Of the thirteen that remained in the first round, only two more would
advance to the tiebreaker. They were Canadians Mario Deslauriers and
Erynn Ballard. Deslauriers with his Naomi and Ballard aboard Looking
Back Farm's Robin Van Roosendael would bring the speed round total to
The jump-off was decided quickly when Pessoa returned first with Sigane
Van De Grudeval. The Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time World Cup
Champion toured the course in a blazing 38.383 seconds for the victory.
Only one competitor would even be able to catch Pessoa's time. Coluccio
managed a speedy time of 37.898 seconds, but it was at the expense of
two knockdowns and the sixth place finish.
Mario Deslauriers and Naomi were the closest of the field, coming home
fault free, but 1.35 seconds shy of the target in 39.733 seconds.
Pessoa, going for the sure clear, picked up the third place finish with
Cantate Z in 41.061 seconds while Ballard's slower clear (42.046)
assured her of the fourth prize. Lamaze finished fifth with a knockdown
in 39.228 seconds.
Pessoa was delighted with his first victory. "She was good. The mare,
she wasn't really ready to go in the WEF Challenge two days ago, so I
thought this would be a nice practice round for her today," he admitted.
"But she jumped really well in the first round and even better in the
jump-off today." He added, "This is a mare you're going to see more of
in the next couple of weeks."
The Brazilian superstar, making his first Winter Equestrian Festival
appearance, had nothing but praise for WEF. "It's great. I'm thrilled to
be here," he said with a smile. "A lot of excellent riders are here. The
system here is very well organized, and we've been treated very well.
The facilities are fantastic, and it's great to be a part of this."
The first Sunday of the 2006 tour features three major events at the
Internationale Arena beginning with the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of
Fame Classic for Junior Jumpers at 8am. The Seniors Classic follows and
then the Sunday main event, the $50,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm
Beach, takes center stage at 2pm.
Rank Num Name NAT Horse R1 Faults R1 Time J/O Faults J/O Time
Results of Class 1001 $20,000 1.50m Classic - Nutrena/Western Hay
Wellington Classic CSI**1-27-06 - Internationale Arena
1 2631 RODRIGO PESSOA SIGANE VAN DE GRUDEVAL -0-0 /38.383 $6000
2 2287 MARIO DESLAURIERS NAOMI -0-0 /39.733 $4000
3 2629 RODRIGO PESSOA CANTATE Z -0-0 /41.061 $2000
4 1271 ERYNN BALLARD ROBIN VAN ROOSENDAEL -0-0 /42.046 $1400
LOOKING BACK FARM
5 1829 ERIC LAMAZE TELEGRAPH -0-4 /39.228 $1200
6 2492 EVAN COLUCCIO CHAMPIGNY -0-8 /37.898 $1000
7 3170 FRANKIE CHESLER ORTI RANVILLE 2- 78.036 $1000
SHER AL FARM
8 3042 MARILYN LITTLE RARETE 4- 73.792 $800
RAYLYN FARMS INC.
9 20 ERIC HASBROUCK LAVALETTA 4- 74.806 $800
10 1434 ADDISON PHILLIPS FLIGHT 4- 74.890 $600
11 488 CHRISTINE MCCREA COSTA 4- 76.750 $600
12 2320 PATTY STOVEL SHANDOR 41 5- 77.643 $600
Louis Jacobs and Caucalis Capture Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur
On Saturday morning, forty top Amateur Owner jumper riders took the
field for the first $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic of the
The class was scored under Table II, Sec. 2(a) Time First Jump-Off. Six
of the forty competitors advanced to the tiebreaker.
Louis Jacobs and Caucalis, owned by the Deeridge Farm edged Megan Lamaze
and Stoney Hill's Cocktail for the victory. They were the only two horse
and rider combinations to go double clear. The margin of victory was .44
Jacobs flew through the timers in 40.723 seconds with Lamaze just behind
in 41.168 seconds.
"He's a super horse," said Jacobs following today's win. "Caucalis is
very experienced at this sort of thing. My first objective was just to
try to gallop real forward. I knew that Megan (Lamaze) and a lot of fast
riders were coming after me so I knew I had to put something fairly
competitive down, and luckily we left them up," he said.
"I thought it was a super course. Of course I thought it was super; my
horse was terrific today," he laughed. "But honestly whenever you get
six clear and it's a big deal class for us Amateurs, I think it should
feel like a big deal to have a clear round. I think the course asked a
lot of questions and in the end, it got a lot of competitive riders in
the jump-off, so I think it did what it was intended to do."
Results Class 1025 - $10,000 High Amateur Owner Jumper - Show Jumping
Hall of Fame Classic - 1-27-06 - Internationale Arena
1- 42 Caucalis, Louis Jacobs -0-0/40.723
2 - 527 Cocktail, Megan Lamaze-0-/41.168
3 - 1591 Libidou, Jessica Speiser -0-4/40.480
4 - 1819 Cycan, Ashley Fleischacker-0-4/40.488
5 - 530 Kiss Me Des Joncs, Megan Lamaze-0-4/41.434
6 - 150 Cromwell, Tracy Weinberg-0-4/44.114