Legendary Pessoa edges his way towards Jumping final

4 September - Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa, fourth at the Lexington World Equestrian Games four years ago, recorded his second clear round of the Team Jumping contest on Thursday with Status, buying them both a ticket through to Saturday’s individual contest.

Status seems to be on great form. How do you feel after the first three rounds?

He is jumping well. He doesn’t waste a lot of energy and isn’t all that spectacular but he does what I ask of him and is an excellent worker. He’s got a lot of pop. He clears the tough stuff with ease and if I ride him well he’ll clear anything. It will be an advantage for him if the rails get higher as the competition goes on. There is a great atmosphere here in the stadium.

Do you feel that you are in with a good chance of an individual medal?

On Saturday we’ll have two really tough rounds of jumping so let’s not get ahead of ourselves! We’ll get the job done and see where that takes us.

The course for the second round of the team competition didn’t appear overly difficult, so why were there so many mistakes?

At the beginning of the test the riders were competing as individuals and weren’t under so much pressure because they weren’t a part of a team. They weren’t in the medal hunt and were there for the experience to try to crack the top 30 on Saturday. As the competition progressed the pressure increased. It was an excellent course — very fluid — but the time was tight which ramped up the difficulty factor. This pushed the riders to go faster and faster to try and make the time. I think Frederic Cottier [the course-designer] did a great job.

Why were there so many mistakes at the second jump, the Land Rover oxer?

It had a blind approach after seven or eight strides from the first jump. It was a square oxer and you needed to be on your toes. Riders who didn’t work the curve got too tight to it and hit the front rail. This is what happened to our Pedro Veniss, but I had warned him!

source: http://www.normandy2014.com/