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Showjumping evolution, according to Nelson Pessoa

Baloubet du Rouet Galoubet A - Mesange du Rouet x Starter) ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA)

By Judy Wardrope
Photography: Peter Llewellyn

In competition and in breeding, excellence and consistency will be rewarded. This was especially demonstrated throughout all the rounds at the World Equestrian Games – encompassing at least five rounds for the top 25, and six rounds for five of those horses due to a jump-off between the Americans and Swedes in the team competition.

Who better to discuss consistency with than a person who has been involved with the sport for decades? Nelson Pessoa was the 1966 European Champion, and, who, in the 1992 Olympics, was the oldest rider (age 56) while son Rodrigo was the youngest (age 19). Nelson also did the early training and competing on Baloubet du Rouet before handing over the reins to Rodrigo, who then piloted the chestnut stallion to numerous championship successes.
About consistency of type, Nelson Pessoa made the following comments: “Nowadays, with the development of the breeding, we have quite a similar conformation horse. Before, the horses were very different. The conformation model for showjumpers is more equal now – from all different breedings – they are lighter. Of course, for the jumper we like to have the best and the strongest hindquarters and the most scope.
“Baloubet has the conformation that you want. His breeding was wonderful and you see now what he is breeding. He had an unbelievable haunch, like a football player, and the scope. And the horse was very, very careful, sensitive and intelligent. He put all the five qualities [power, scope, carefulness, sensitivity and intelligence] of a showjumper together. That is the reason for his success. Baloubet continues to reproduce the majority of the good horses now.”
WEG Sires of Note (alphabetically)

• Baloubet du Rouet (1989/SF: Galoubet A - Mesange du Rouet x Starter, bred by Louis Fardin Snr), Olympic Champion as well as three-time World Cup champion (1998, 1999, 2000), followed by three podium places (second, third, second – 2001, 2002, 2003) in the same event, seems to pass on a fair amount of ability, as does his sire, Galoubet A, who was the broodmare sire of one other WEG competitor. Baloubet du Rouet’s representation at WEG came through his sons as well as his daughters. He’s the broodmare sire of four of the competitors, sire of one, and paternal grandsire (through Balou du Rouet) of two, including Bianca (SWB out of Coco by Cardento), the individual bronze medalist..CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS