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Pessoa receives World Fair Play Diploma

Friday, 28 January 2011

Rodrigo Pessoa has been awarded the 2010 Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Diploma for his generous act of fair play during the Rolex Top Four final last October, when the individual jumping medals at the FEI World Equestrian Games were decided. Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Rebozo at this years WEG. Photo by Jenny Abrahamsson.


The Brazilian Jumping rider - 1998 world and 2004 Olympic champion and triple FEI world cup winner - was one of the final four fighting for the individual gold. The other challengers were 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze of Canada, Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune - who had taken part in four World Equestrian Games and eight FEI European Championships, and the young Saudi rider Abdullah Al Sharbatly for whom competition at this level was a first.


While Al Sharbatly was getting ready to ride Pessoa’s horse HH Rebozo, he asked the far more experienced Brazilian for some guidance. Pessoa explained at length how to ride the horse, pointed out the most difficult fences, and gave his opponent advice on how to tackle the course. The Saudi rider used Pessoa’s advice to great effect, going on to secure the silver medal, while Rodrigo finished in fourth place just out of the medals. His generous spirited gesture was acknowledged by loud applause from the spectators in Kentucky.

Pessoa is one of three 2010 Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Diploma recipients, the other two being Bulgarian judo player Yoana Damyanova and triathlete Raquel Mafra Rocha of Portugal.


Source: FEI

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