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Federation Equestre Internationale News

FEI/Gandini Top Ten Final Presented By Rolex: Pessoa Wins Top Ten Final In Geneva

A capacity crowd enjoyed the third annual FEI/Gandini Top-Ten Final in the Palexpo Arena in Geneva yesterday (Saturday 6 December) where Rodrigo Pessoa claimed the 36,000 CHF first prize riding the stallion Baloubet du Rouet.

The Brazilian rider, who placed ninth in 2001 and seventh last year, said "it’s a unique competition, my horse jumped very well in both rounds and I am very happy to win it".

His success was all the more remarkable for the fact that he had been feeling ill on Thursday and Friday but, after his victory, Rodrigo said "I felt it was important to stay and compete, so I rested a lot. I’m still not 100% but I was well enough to stay on the horse and be transported!".

Just five riders were clear over the first course and, in the jump-off, Marcus Ehning and For Pleasure had the best time but hit one fence to finish in third place.

Lars Nieberg opted for a careful clear and was rewarded with runner-up spot with Lucie but Rodrigo was nine seconds faster to claim the main honours.

For the home crowd there was huge disappointment when World No. 1, Markus Fuchs, was forced to retire in the opening round. Fuchs has been bothered by a thigh-muscle problem since mid-summer of this year and was feeling uncomfortable going into the ring with Tinka’s Boy. After jumping a few fences however the pain increased dramatically and he pulled up and left the arena to the dismay of the spectators. "It was like a knife in my leg" he was reported to say on his way to hospital for some early medical attention, and it is feared that he may be out of action for some time.

Once again Palexpo proved a popular venue with the riders. Lars Nieberg commented that "the course was super like last year – it is not possible to get any better and the going is very good".

Result – 1, Baloubet du Rouet (Rodrigo Pessoa) Bra 0/0 43.44; 2, Lucie (Lars Nieberg) Ger 0/0 52.58; 3, For Pleasure (Marcus Ehning) Ger 0/4 40.90; 4, Goldfever 11 (Ludger Beerbaum) Ger 0/4 44.91; 5, Lando (Otto Becker) Ger 0/4 46.26; 6, Kalusha (Robert Smith) GB 4 49.02; 7, H&M Butterfly Flip (Malin Baryard) 8 44.15; 8, AK Caridor Z (Jos Lansink) Bel 8 47.18; 9, Authentic (Beezie Madden) USA 12 45.37; 10, Tinka’s Boy (M Fuchs) Sui Ret.


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