Rodrigo Pessoa (Brazil) has been awarded the 2010 Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Diploma for his generous act of fair play during the Rolex Final Four Competition that decided the individual jumping medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). See our archived news story and videos of the ‘Final Four’ event.
The Brazilian Jumping rider was one of the final four riders fighting for the individual gold medal. The other challengers were Eric Lamaze of Canada, Belgium’s Philippe Lejeune and the young Saudi rider Abdullah Sharbatly, for whom competition at this level was a first.
While Sharbatly was getting ready to ride Pessoa’s horse in the final round, he asked the more experienced rider for some guidance. Pessoa explained at length how to ride his horse, pointed out the most difficult fences, and gave his opponent advice on how to tackle the course. The Saudi rider used Pessoa’s advice to great effect, going on to win the silver medal while Rodrigo finished in fourth place, just out of the medals. His generosity was acknowledged at the time by loud applause from the crowd in Kentucky.
Congratulations Rodrigo, you have our admiration!
We have included a video of Rodrigo Pessoa riding his horse, Baloubet du Roet to a Grand Prix win.
Comment: The Diploma is awarded by the International Committee for Fair Play which was founded in Paris in 1963. The committee’s main aim is to promote and support fairness and equal opportunity and to formally acknowledge those men and women, children and adolescents and sports-related organisations throughout the world who have exhibited Fair Play on the sporting field or throughout their careers.
The FEI has also been singled out with a special citation for its inclusion of Para-Equestrian Dressage as one of their official disciplines.