Rider Profile – Rodrigo Pessoa

Rodrigo Pessoa (born November 29, 1972 in Paris, France) is the famous show jumper from Brazil. He is an accomplished rider backed by his 50 Grand Prix wins and a total of (6.000,000) in prize money during his career. Rodrigo Pessoa is the son of equestrian famous Brazilian international show jumper Nelson Pessoa.

Riding career

Rodrigo first competed in 1981 at Hickstead. In 1984 he claimed his first title as champion of the pony class and again in 1985. In 1988 he competed in his first Grand Prix.

He continued to his triumphant career by competing and winning many Grands Prix. In 1992 he rode Special Envoy in the Olympic Games in Barcelona for Brazil, making him one of the youngest rider to compete in the Olympics at the age of 19. In 1996 he again rode in the Olympics in Atlanta and helped Brazil win the bronze medal with Loro Piana TomBoy.

In 1998 he rode Gandini Lianos to be the youngest World Champion at 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games in Rome.

Pessoa took his career further by winning the World Cup Final on Baloubet du Rouet three times in a row and finished as the reserve champion the fourth year, a world record. In his fifth and final World Cup, Rodrigo and Baloubet du Rouet finished in third place. He later claimed the title and prize for the world’s best rider and in addition to the Show Jumping Year trophy.

In 2000 at the Olympic Games in Sydney, he again won the bronze team medal. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens he won the individual silver medal but after disqualification of the Irish rider Cian O’Connor and his horse Waterford Crystal for doping, he was awarded the Gold medal in an award ceremony in his home town of Rio de Janeiro.

In 2007, Pessoa won the individual silver and team gold medals at the Pan American Games, held in his home town.


  • Palouchin de Ligny – 1999,
  • Rufus – 1998, Bay, Gelding, (KWPN)
  • Oasis ( Chesnut gelding, high jumper, currently showing at the winter equestrian festival)
  • Baloubet du Rouet – 1989, Chestnut, Gelding, (SF)
  • Loro Piana TomBoy – 1985, Bay, Gelding, (ISH)
  • Special Envoy – 1980, Chestnut, Gelding, (ISH)
  • Gandini Lianos – 1987, Bay, Gelding, (Holst)
  • Stardust – 1991, Bay, Mare, (ISH)
  • Bianca
  • Hermes St. Lois
  • Taylor Made
  • Fantasia
  • Oberon
  • Bianca D’Amaury
  • Harry Potter
  • Cantate Z
  • Queen
  • Hors La Loi II
  • Ianitza
  • Giffard de la Mare
  • Urasie
  • Haut de Val
  • Primata
  • Carlot 3

At the top of this page is a video of Rodrigo and the amazing Tomboy winning a team bronze medal for Brazil at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Watch the power and scope this horse has, it’s quite unbelievable. Below Ridrigo is riding Baloubet du Rouet.


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One thought on “Rider Profile – Rodrigo Pessoa

  1. Dear Jono,

    I had a training course with Nelson Pessoa a couple of days ago, for 3 days, but the last day went really badly and I did not get a chance to thank him or say good bye.

    The Rodrigo Pessoa website does not appear to be functioning. I was wondering whether you had any idea where I could find an e-mail address for him as I would like to thank him for the wonderful opportunity that I had.

    Thank you. I hope to hear from you soon.



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