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Rodrigo Pessoa and Chili add a little spice in the $65,000 Lemieux Grand Prix CSI2*

Sunday, 10 March 2024
CSI4*/CSI2* World Equestrian Center Ocala 2024

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Rodrigo Pessoa and Chili. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from World Equestrian Center



International competition came to a close on Sunday morning with a field of 31 talented horse-and-rider combinations representing 10 different nations vying for victory in the $65,000 LeMieux Grand Prix CSI2*. Seven-time Olympian Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), led the charge aboard Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC’s lightning-fast mare Chili (Consolidator x Berlin), ultimately claiming top honors after a successful week of podium finishes.

Once again, the duo of Gregory Bodo (FRA) and Pieter Viste (BEL) set an intricate track with a tight time allowed that caught several riders throughout the class. Six was the lucky number once again, which led for an exciting jump-off between Brazil, United States, New Zealand and Canada. 

Pathfinders Rodrigo Pessoa and Chili were the first to return, “I thought I’d give it a real go and not be second again,” laughed Pessoa. “I knew exactly what numbers I was going to do. Two to three was a seven. Chili has a smaller stride, so I can’t leave out, but she can do the numbers fast.” 

Pessoa and the 12-year-old Westphalian mare blazed around the course, stopping the clock at an untouchable 36.86 seconds, more than two seconds faster than second place.

“She shines in the two-star competitions. The secret is to keep the horses at the level they are most comfortable at. I don’t want to push her with bigger fences, because she would struggle, it’s not fair to her. We keep her at 1.45m, and enter her where there is good prize money. She has always earned her keep, and she’s a fantastic mare to have.” 

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Rodrigo Pessoa and Chili taking their lap of honor. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Pessoa has been selected to represent Brazil for the Longines League of Nations™ Qualifier at World Equestrian Center – Ocala on March 23, “I am coming with my best horse Major Tom. We have a good team. The best riders in the world will be here. It will be very tough competition. Brazil was fifth in Abu Dhabi, so not a bad start, but we are going to try to put some good points on the board for our team. It’s exciting to have so many of the best riders come here to compete, and this place already shines. I’ve said it many times, and I will never get tired of saying it – this is the best place in the world to show.” 

Nicole Walker (CAN) secured second place with her own nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion Panter JVH (Le Blue Diamond Van ‘t Ruyters x Toulon) in 39.16 seconds. 

Amy Millar (CAN) found herself another spot on the podium during Week X. Millar guided J Team’s 10-year-old KWPN mare Jelvinia MB (Kannan x Indoctro) to an efficient and clear jump-off in 39.90 seconds to round out the top three. 


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