Million-dollar grand prix highlight of Rio show

Brazilian showjumper Rodrigo Pessoa.
Brazilian showjumper Rodrigo Pessoa.

Prizemoney of €1 million ($US1.3m) is on offer at the Rio de Janeiro Grand Prix at the Athina Onassis Horse Show this weekend.

Seven Olympic champions are competing in Brazil, led by London 2012 gold medalist Steve Guedart, along with British team gold medalists Nick Skelton and Ben Maher.

Other gold medalists in the Grand Prix are Rodrigo Pessoa (Brazil), who won gold in 2004; Ludger Beerbaum (Germany), who won gold in the Olympic years from 1988 to 2000;  Germany’s Marcus Ehning, (2000) and Laura Kraut from the United States (2008).

Also in the mix is Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and Marco Kutcher, and Irish riders including Jessica Kurten, who competes with Vincente, and Denis Lynch, who is taking three horses to the show – Lantinus, All Star 5 and Night Train.

The Brazilian team of Rodrigo Pessoa, Doda Miranda, José Roberto Reynoso Filho and Carlos Ribas will also be competing.

At the show there will be a total of 14 Olympic medal champions, who together have won 25 medals.  “Nine out of the best ten riders in the world rank will be here,” said Doda Miranda, Oi AOHS’s creator and bronze team medalist in Atlanta and Sydney.

“From the 30 best, 27 will be here.  We have great expectations because it will be like a small Olympic Games in our home”, he said.

The Grand Prix takes place on Saturday. On Friday 10 teams will vie for the Nations Challenge.


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