Champion Rodrigo Pessoa Wins $10,000 Welcome Stake
WELLINGTON, FL, Jan. 25 -
Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil received a warm welcome in Friday's $10,000
Wellington Golf Cars Welcome Stake during week two of the CN Winter
Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm
Beach International Equestrian Center.
Ken Berkley set the early pace by turning in a clear round with the grey Parlay, clocking in at 38.97 seconds. Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil then showed why he is the Olympic champion, racing around the course and stopping the timers at 37.79 with Palouchin, a horse sired by his three-time World Cup Champion horse, Baloubet de Rouet, and out of a Chin Chin mare that Pessoa showed as a junior rider.
European-based American Peter Wylde and Lipton de L'Othain were the combination to come close to catching Pessoa. Though they gave it a valiant effort, their time of 37.92 seconds was just off the leading pace, leaving them in second. Wylde had also finished second in Thursday's $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series I with another mount, Let's Fly.
"It is always difficult to tell, but the conditions are good, the ground is good, and there were a lot of good horses starting today," said Pessoa when asked if he was surprised by the high percentage of riders that advanced to the jump-off. "It was a nice way to get the circuit going."
Week Two of competition, which is rated a CSI2* by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), continues through Sunday, January 27, when the $40,000 Grand Prix will begin at 1 p.m.
Results of Class 807 - $10,000 Welcome Stake
255 PALOUCHIN RODRIGO PESSOA 0.00 71.692 0.00 37.796
Results of Class 1005 1.40m Speed Challenge, II Sec. 1 (NAL)
1104 LUTOPIA NICOLE SIMPSON 0.00 57.039
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com