Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) riding Rufus, Olympic Games 2008: Photo Peter Llewellyn

The first shock news from the Rio2016 OG selections is the omission of Rodrigo Pessoa from the showjumping team – sidelined as ‘reserve’ by team coach George Morris according to the Brazilian Equestrian Federation. In a statement made by Pessoa through his press office, published in the Brazilian media under the headline ‘Rodrigo Pessoa says he disagrees with coach': “The biggest dream of an athlete is to compete in the Olympic Games, at home it’s a special privilege. But our sport depends on another living being. Jordan (Air Jordan Z - Jamaica x Voltaire) – my best bet for the Rio2016 Olympic Games was injured during preparation. However, I had Cadjanine (Canabis Z - Fatima Z x Feinschnitt I Z) – who comped for Belgium in the London Olympics, and I informed the Brazilian Equestrian Federation and coach George Morris that the mare is ready for Rio. Pessoa continued by saying: “Today, I do not agree with this decision of the coach to include me as the back-up, and am ready to contribute to the Brazilian team as I have for the past 25 years in the Olympics, world championships and Pan-American Games. We will wait for the next few days to see what the future will bring. This pill will be hard to swallow”. This would have been Pessoa’s seventh Olympic Games having won individual gold in Athens 2004 and team bronze medals in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.