After a seven-year partnership, Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa and Double H Farm will part ways. Pessoa has been the principal rider for the Ridgefield, Conn., and Wellington, Fla., based farm since 2006.
“I think it was time to do something else and move on to other things,” said Pessoa, who just returned to his home base in Brussels, Belgium, after competing at Old Salem (N.Y.). “I remain on very good terms with [Double H Farm owner] Hunter Harrison. He’s been a fantastic person to me. We’re going to go in our own directions. I really enjoyed the time we spent together. It’s all very amicable.”
Pessoa, who rides for Brazil, has won many awards on Double H mounts—including individual silver and team gold at the 2007 Pan American Games (Brazil) on Rufus, individual and team fourth place at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.) on HH Rebozo and team silver at the 2011 Pan American Games (Mexico) on HH Ashley.
“We haven’t had much luck in the last two or three years with injuries and essentially everyone is on the sidelines except Let’s Fly,” said Harrison. “Rufus is retired, [HH Ashley] is hurt and [HH Palouchin de Ligny] is hurt. Rodrigo has been getting more into helping young riders at G&C Farm, and I think he’s been enjoying that relationship and riding a couple horses for them, and he has a few of his own. Our schedules weren’t going to fit as far as where we were with the other horses on the circuit. Seven years is a long time, and we decided that we’d take a little break and go our separate ways, and we might be able to do this again some time down the road. It’s very friendly; there’s no one getting upset. It’s just a good time to go our separate ways.”
Harrison confirmed that at this time there are no plans to replace Pessoa at Double H. Quentin Judge and Cayce Harrison also ride Double H mounts.
Per their agreement, Harrison has given Pessoa Let’s Fly, on whom Pessoa won the 2009 Grand Prix of Rome.
“We've had a great relationship and friendship with Rodrigo and have enjoyed being able to support him,” said Harrison.
Since last year, Pessoa has also been riding for Gustavo and Carolina Mirabel’s G&C Farm, focusing on young talent. He also has three horses of his own that he’s competing.
“I will start at Cannes [France] in a few weeks,” he said. “No Spruce Meadows this year. These horses are a bit green to go there. It’s quite an impressive place, and I’d like to practice before we tackle Spruce. But I’m looking forward to going back.”