By Randolph PR for Pennsylvania National Horse Show
Harrisburg, PA – Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and Venice Beach kicked off the Open Jumper competition at the 2022 Pennsylvania National Horse Show with victory in the $10,000 1.45m Speed Challenge on Wednesday, October 19.
Pessoa and the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC, were one of 36 entries to take on the speed track set by course designer Anderson Lima. As the third pair to enter the ring at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, Pessoa and Venice Beach laid down a lightning-quick time of 54.583 seconds that would go untouched through the remainder of the class.
Coming the closest – but still nearly two seconds off of Pessoa’s time – was Adam Sklansky who stopped the clock in 56.49 seconds aboard his own Hakini. Rounding out the top three with a time of 57.03 seconds was Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward aboard First Lady, owned by Robin Parsky.
“It was a good first indoors, classic course,” said Pessoa, who is no stranger to the PNHS, having won the Grand Prix de Penn National on two occasions. “Everything comes up pretty quickly, and you have to adjust your reflexes a little bit from the outside arenas. Anderson Lima’s a very good course designer, very experienced. This is a place that I’ve always liked to come and compete. The facility is always really nice, and it’s great to be back here.”
Pessoa has had the ride on his winning mount for several years and can always count on the mare in situations like Wednesday’s featured jumper class.
“She’s a very competitive, very fast horse,” said Pessoa. “She’s always ready to go and great to have.”
Also earning a victory on Wednesday evening was Ireland’s Christian Coyle riding his own Locato Van Het Kapelhof. The pair topped the $10,000 1.30m Speed with a winning time of 53.53 seconds. Taking both second and third place was Laura Chapot riding Gideon and C&C Willow, respectively.
For full results of both classes, visit pnhs.showmanagementsystem.com.