ESNZ High Performance Eventing has brought in one of the best showjumpers ever as they prepare for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa will work alongside high performance team coach Luis Alvarez Cervera, himself a six-time Olympian who has been working with the Kiwis for a number of years now.
Eventing high performance manager Graeme Thom said the new partnership is off to a cracking start. “The Rodrigo and Luis partnership is another step in ESNZ’s efforts to target key variables to be ever more successful,” says Thom.
“We are especially honoured to have Rodrigo join our specialist coaching team. His unparalleled competitive successes and overall knowledge brings an added dimension to our athletes and one that they have enthusiastically embraced.”
Pessoa is lauded in the world of showjumping. In 1992 at the Barcelona, he was one of the youngest to compete at the Olympic Games, and in 1996 at Atlanta helped his country win a bronze medal. In 1998 WEG in Rome he became the youngest-ever world champion, which he followed by winning a hat-trick of World Cup finals aboard Baloubet du Rouet.
Pessoa helped him team to win another bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games, and in 2004 at Athens he won the individual silver, but was alter awarded the gold after the disqualification of Irishman Cian O’Connor. He has also won a silver medal at the FEI Nations Cup Final, along with two golds and two silvers at the Pan American Games over the years.
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ