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Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach race to Devon Blue in $37,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4*

Thursday, 02 June 2022
CSI4* Devon Horse Show 2022

Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps. Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach won the CSI4* Devon International Speed Stake. Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps.

 

Press release from Devon Horse Show

 


 

International show jumping athletes returned to the Dixon Oval Wednesday evening at the 2022 Devon Horse Show to contest the $37,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4*. In a race against the clock, the Devon blue was anyone’s for the taking. In the end, it was Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach who sped to the victory, topping the class and taking home the lion’s share of the prize money.

A decorated field of 23 starters took to Olaf Peterson Jr.’s 17-obstacle track for their one and only shot at a quick and clear round in the hopes of earning the win. Twists and turns, challenging approaches and tricky combinations ensured that only the best of the best would rule the night. 

Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps. Zayna Rizvi and Excellent finished second. Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps.

Early in the order, Colombia’s Roberto Teran Tafur and Rocking Basilisk Farm LLC’s Santana, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, were the first to ride fast and clear through the track in 73.51 seconds. Rounds became progressively quicker throughout the evening, with other riders like the United States’ Caitlyn Connors aboard her own Express Blue GP Du Bois Madame also going clear in 71.78 seconds, and Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa on Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC’s Venice Beach finishing fault-free in 66.92 seconds.

Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps. Jessica Mendoza and Dublin ended third. Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps.

With the pressure on in the second half of the order, Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza turned on the heat with her own Dublin, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, crossing the finish in a clear 68.15 seconds. 17-year-old Zayna Rizvi took over Mendoza’s second place position on the leaderboard shortly after with Peacock Ridge LLC’s Excellent, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, finishing in 67.68 seconds. With Pessoa and Venice Beach still in the lead, the last few pairs made valiant efforts to take over the top spot to no avail. The United States’ Aaron Vale on Condarco, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Thinks Like a Horse, completed a clear effort but could not match Pessoa’s time, tripping the timers in 68.57 seconds. At the conclusion of the class, Rizvi and Excellent took the red ribbon, while Mendoza and Dublin took the yellow.

Show jumping competition will come to a pinnacle Thursday evening, June 2, for the highly anticipated $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, set to take place at 8:35 p.m. 

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE: Rodrigo Pessoa – $37,000 Devon International Speed Stake CSI4* winner

Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps. Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach. Photo © Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps.

On his ride on Venice Beach:

“I’ve been with her for five years. This is the kind of class that she excels at. The track was good, I was cautious going around the turns. She’s a mare that has a lot of torque so the turns were a little bit cautious but the rest of the course I let her do her thing. Usually she is in the top ribbons and I don’t like to get in her way. 

On his strategy for the class:

“I knew there were still good competitors and I had a plan to be tight everywhere and do the right numbers. I didn’t add anywhere or lose time, I just let her go. She is quicker across the ground, she’s been in very good shape lately. The last two weeks at Old Salem she won three out of four classes, and was third in the fourth class so she’s been on a roll. She’s been an incredible mare for me and Artemis Farms.”

On what’s next:

“She will go tomorrow, then we are off for a couple of weeks before we go to Europe. I think next year will probably be Aachen. I have a very good 9-year-old that we are trying to get ready for next year and the year after, so we are taking a little bit of patience with him because he’s really special and we are going to wait for that.”

On showing at the Devon Horse Show:

“It’s good to be back here, this is one of the most traditional shows in the U.S. It has a great atmosphere and it’s always great to compete here. The enthusiasm of the crowd is always great and it’s a really nice event.” 



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