Wellington, FL - February 2, 2011 - The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began its fourth week of competition on Wednesday morning with another win going to Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and HH Palouchin in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers. This was the pair's third win in a row, also winning both of week three's 1.45m classes.
The fourth week of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Adequan, continues through Sunday, February 6. The highlight jumper classes this week are Thursday's $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 at 1 p.m., Saturday's $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic at 2 p.m. and the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes at 7 p.m., and Sunday's $75,000 Adequan CSI 2* Grand Prix at 2 p.m. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition through April 3, 2011, and will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
This week's course designer in the International Arena is Richard Jeffery of Great Britain. Beginning the week, there were 36 entries in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class, and ten of those were clear to lead the standings. Rodrigo Pessoa and Double H Farms' HH Palouchin were the fastest of those clear rounds with an unbeatable time of 55.552 seconds to take the top prize.
Mario Deslauriers (USA) rode Jane F. Clark's Whistler to second place with a clear round in 58.503 seconds. Third place was awarded to McLain Ward (USA) and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve, owned by Louisburg Farm, in 59.268 seconds. Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Obelix 148 finished in fourth in 59.285 seconds, and Pablo Barrios (VEN) guided G&C In Color to fifth place with a time of 61.304 seconds.
Pessoa and HH Palouchin, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Chin Chin, have had a long and prosperous partnership. Palouchin is a homebred horse that Pessoa has ridden for his entire career. Fast and sharp, the pair's round in today's class was almost three seconds faster than the second place finisher, and Pessoa explained that Palouchin was made to compete in speed classes like this one.
"He is pretty straight-forward; he has his own way of going and he is really a tremendous jumper," Pessoa stated. "He is very, very careful and really intelligent. For these classes it is very difficult to beat him if the rider does not make a mistake. This is his fifth win of the season, so we are really happy with his performance."
Pessoa added, "The course was good today. With him it is always the same thing - just let him go and try to stay out of his way. It is difficult to catch him as you could see. He jumped really well again and we will go again tomorrow and try to do the same."
Week four of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continues tomorrow with the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 in the International Arena at 1 p.m.
- 1 HH PALOUCHIN RODRIGO PESSOA DOUBLE H FARM: 0/55.552
- 2 WHISTLER MARIO DESLAURIERS JANE CLARK: 0/58.503
- 3 PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE MCLAIN WARD LOUISBURG FARM: 0/59.268
- 4 OBELIX 148 ENRIQUE GONAZALEZ ENRIQUE GONZALEZ: 0/59.285
- 5 G&C IN COLOR PABLO BARRIOS G&C FARM: 0/61.304
- 6 HH OKLAND QUENTIN JUDGE DOUBLE H FARM: 0/62.946
- 7 NO FEAR NAVONA GALLEGOS BAR X RANCH LLC: 0/66.301
- 8 TURBO R PETER LUTZ KELLY TROPIN: 0/68.545
- 9 S F URYADI JENNIFER CROOKS OLIVIA COX-FILL & STELLA FARM:0/68.821
- 10 CEDRIC LAURA KRAUT HAPPY HILL FARM: 0/71.518
- 11 G&C NAPOLEAON PABLO BARRIOS G&C FARM: 4/57.358
- 12 FYI DEBBIE STEPHENS CENTENNIAL FARM: 4/65.998
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Palouchin won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers during the fourth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Palouchin with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Pablo Barrios of G&C Farm. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.