Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and Let's Fly jumped to victory in the $231,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI 4*-W in Wellington on Saturday.
Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela designed the course for a field of 42 starters. Eight jumped clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Six of those eight were the top women riding for the United States followed up by two of the world's best men from Great Britain and Brazil. The men were able to best the ladies tonight, taking the top two places with the only clear rounds over the short course.
Rodrigo Pessoa and Double H Farm's Let's Fly went last in the jump-off and were double clear in 51.57 seconds to take home top prize. Nick Skelton (GBR) and Beverly Widdowson's Carlo 273 finished double clear in 55.23 seconds to place second.
Following the men, the ladies rounded out the top eight places. Lauren Hough (USA) and Laura Mateo's Quick Study had the fastest four-fault round in 49.50 seconds to finish in third. Candice King (USA) and Skara Glen's Davos had four faults in a time of 50.36 seconds to place fourth. Laura Kraut (USA) with Happy Hill Farm's Cedric and Beezie Madden (USA) riding Abigail Wexner's Danny Boy each had eight faults to finish in fifth and sixth respectively. Christine McCrea (USA) riding Candy Tribble's Romantovich Take One and Kate Levy (USA) riding Vent Du Nord placed seventh and eighth.
Class winner Let's Fly is a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest. Pessoa described his mount, stating, "Let's Fly has good basics. We bought him as a young horse from Peter Wylde and we have had him now for three or four years. He has won a lot of great classes for our stable. He's sharp (and) a little suspicious, but he always tries. He has great heart and he never gives up, but he has to be ridden."
"He is a nice horse to compete - a good, quality horse," Pessoa continued. "I was lucky to go last and see everything that happened in the jump-off. This is Let's Fly's third time in the jump-off this circuit, and I thought 'I really have to get it right this time or I never will.' I was really lucky to go last, to be able to know exactly what to do and to stay out of his way. He jumped really well both rounds."
Speaking about his ride, Nick Skelton stated, "I knew I had to go clear with two left. I was slower then I wanted to be, but I thought to go clear was better and I hoped to finish second."
Skelton has a special mount in Carlo 273, who he described as 'quirky.' He explained, "Carlo's best place is in the ring; everywhere else he is hot. He is spooky outside, especially schooling by the barn, but when he goes in the ring he is a totally different horse. If you were to ride him outside of the show ring you would think that you would never be able to get around the ring, but once he is in there he is careful and does not look at anything. He is a trier."
For more information, go to www.equestriansport.com
Source: Press release from equestriansport.com by Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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