The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival began its fourth week of competition on Wednesday morning with another win going to Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Palouchin in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers. This was the pair's third win in a row, also winning both of week three's 1.45m classes.
This week's course designer in the International Arena is Richard Jeffery of Great Britain. Beginning the week, there were 36 entries in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class, and ten of those were clear to lead the standings. Rodrigo Pessoa and Double H Farms' HH Palouchin were the fastest of those clear rounds with an unbeatable time of 55.552 seconds to take the top prize. Mario Deslauriers rode Jane F. Clark's Whistler to second place with a clear round in 58.503 seconds. Third place was awarded to McLain Ward and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve in 59.268 seconds.
Pessoa and HH Palouchin, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Chin Chin, have had a long and prosperous partnership. Palouchin is a homebred horse that Pessoa has ridden for his entire career. Fast and sharp, the pair's round in today's class was almost three seconds faster than the second place finisher, and Pessoa explained that Palouchin was made to compete in speed classes like this one.
"He is pretty straight-forward; he has his own way of going and he is really a tremendous jumper," Pessoa stated. "He is very, very careful and really intelligent. For these classes it is very difficult to beat him if the rider does not make a mistake. This is his fifth win of the season, so we are really happy with his performance."
Pessoa added, "The course was good today. With him it is always the same thing - just let him go and try to stay out of his way. It is difficult to catch him as you could see. He jumped really well again and we will go again tomorrow and try to do the same."
Source: Press release from equestriansport.com by Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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