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Blenheim EquiSports

World Champion Rodrigo Pessoa Wins $35,000 Budweiser Speed Derby At 2002 Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A

San Juan Capistrano, CA—July 27, 2002—Show Jumping World Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil galloped to victory in the $35,000 Budweiser Speed Derby Saturday at the 2002 Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A.

Pessoa topped a field of 27 entries in the one-round speed class where faults were converted to penalty seconds. He and Gandini Bianca D’Amoury, owned by Keri Pessoa, completed the 17-jump course designed by Sydney Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela in 88.68 seconds.

Kamal Bahamdan of Saudi Arabia, the day’s third entry, took an early lead in the class when he rode Casita, owned by KB Farms, Ltd, to a time of 90.92 seconds. His lead held up until the day’s 23rd entry, Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, beat his score on Authentic, owned by Elizabeth Busch Burke and John Madden Sales. Madden blistered over the course, finishing with a score of 90.60 seconds that included a five-second penalty for a knockdown at fence 10B.

“I really attacked the first fence,” Madden said. “My horse is naturally fast and he just kind of carried me the rest of the way. The course was very long and I think he thought he was done when he had that rail late in the course. I might have ridden that fence a little too soft.”

Madden’s penalty proved costly as her actual time of 85.60 seconds would have been good enough for the win. “I was quite fortunate to be able to watch Beezie ride before I had to go,” Pessoa said. “She’s always very accurate as well as fast. My mare is experienced at this level and I know just how fast I can push her and it worked out well today.”

Placing fourth behind Pessoa, Madden and Bahamdan was Mandy Porter of Solana Beach, CA who had a time of 95.52 seconds on LaRoc, which she owns with ACP Enterprises. Fifth place went to Francie Steinwedell-Carvin of LaCanada, CA with a score of 95.83 seconds on Laddidor owned by Prentis Partners.

Earlier in the day, Alison Lynch of Ranch Santa Margarita, CA rode TJ’s Eagle, owned by Roclar, Inc., to victory in the $10,000 Budweiser Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. None of the 24 starters was able to complete the original 14-jump course with no penalties, but Lynch and TJ’s Eagle came close, finishing with no jumping and only one-quarter of a time penalty for exceeding the time allowed of 84 seconds by .644 seconds. Marley Goodman of Palm Beach, FL was just behind Lynch. She also finished with no jumping penalties but had a half of a time penalty for exceeding the time allowed by 1.022 seconds on Cacique which she owns with Turtle Lane Farm.

The Budweiser Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic is a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series that determines which junior and amateur-owner riders will qualify to ride in this year’s National Horse Show in Wellington, FL in November.

This year marks the second annual Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A, which was the country’s first outdoor CSI-A (international individual show jumping competition). Sunday’s grand finale, the $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix of the United States, presented by HBO, will be the final event determining the U.S. squad for the Show Jumping World Championships that will be held at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain in September.

This also marks the second time Selection Trials to determine a USET squad are being held at the Oaks Blenheim Exhibitions – Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. Selection Trials for the USET’s Sydney Olympic squad were held at the San Juan Capistrano venue in 2000.

In addition to the selection trials, other exciting classes at the CSI-A include the $10,000 Hermes International Speed Class, won Thursday morning by Laura Kraut on Liberty; the $10,000 Robert Mondavi Winery International Welcome Class won Thursday afternoon by Eric Hasbrouck on Sitah; and the $25,000 St. Regis Resort International Class won by Mandy Porter on Lavita on Friday afternoon.

In addition to thrilling show jumping competition, spectators can enjoy a range of activities and entertainment, including live music and a Kids Day sponsored by Fidelity Investments. Admission for Sunday is $15 with children under the age of three admitted free. Parking is $5 for venue parking and just $.50 per person for general parking which includes a shuttle ride to the show grounds. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 489-8826.
Blenheim EquiSports, under the direction of Olympic veteran rider Robert Ridland and CEO R.J. Brandes, is one of the country’s largest equestrian management and promotion companies. Events managed by Blenheim EquiSports include the 2000 Budweiser World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the inaugural Oaks Blenheim International CSI-A.

For general information, please visit or or call (949) 443-1844.


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