Rodrigo Pessoa interviewed, speaks about the return of Rolex Top 10 competition to Geneva

Rodrigo Pessoa speaks about the return of Rolex Top 10 competition to Geneva

Q. Rodrigo, announcing today an important development for the IJRC and with Rolex, for the top 10 which you've just had in Stockholm, but bringing here to Geneva, where you've already got the Grand Slam. This is turning into a big season ending climax.

R. "Yes, it's coming back home - it's coming back where it all started. We are really happy to be able to count on this partnership with Rolex for the next 5 years for the top 10, where the prize money is really going to go up. It's going to help also the structure of the club to really get a better organisation - let the club become really strong... so we're really happy to be able to come back after it went away for a couple of years, we're happy that it's back where everything started and with our super partner, Rolex."

Q. In a lot of sports, there are season ending championships - in tennis and golf. In a way, what's going on now here at Geneva, you've got something similar happening here. Is this important again for the profile of the riders?

R. "Yes, I think it's really a great opportunity to be able to gather the best 10 riders in the world in an event like this and to go head to head for a great purse - and being one of the legs of the Grand Slam as well, really makes a year ending really exciting and I really look forward to it."

Q. There does seem to me to be the commitment within the sport - that prize money at the elite level is looking encouraging and perhaps that's what you riders are looking towards - so that you can compete with other sports on a global stage as competitors?

R. "Yes, I think that the commitment of big brands, in particular, Rolex is really showing that they're really committed to equestrian sport and really raising the level of prize money, to be able to compete with other sports... we're still far from tennis and golf and so on but we're getting there... I mean the progress in the last couple of years has been tremendous and this could not be possible without big brands that are behind the sport."

Q. Your own personal sporting ambitions? Still as hungry as ever?

R. " Yes, I am lucky to have next year, 2 or 3 horses that are going to make my comeback a little bit better. So hopefully I am going to have a good season... for us in 2014, the big goal is the first week of September - for the WEG, but also keeping an eye on the big events throughout the year.