Rodrigo Pessoa released a statement Friday on his Amethyst Equestrian website, announcing that he is leaving his role as the high performance manager of the Irish show jumping team. Most recently, Pessoa led Ireland to its long-awaited Olympic qualification, after the team of Darragh Kenny, Cian O’Connor, Paul O’Shea and Peter Moloney claimed gold at the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final at CSIO Barcelona. The statement reads:
“As I close this adventure as high performance manager of the Irish team, I have a feeling of fulfillment in having accomplished my initial mission with them. The qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games was our target and we reached it together as a wide but united squad. On the road to that qualification we picked up a European title that had eluded us for over 15 years. I am very proud to say that we used more than 30 Irish riders in Nations Cup over the last three years. That is something that not many countries can say they have done. Ireland is a nation with vast pool of talented international riders, and I am proud to have worked with them during my tenure.
I was consistently impressed with what it meant to them all to wear the green jacket and represent Ireland.
Along the way we have experienced peaks and valleys. But all the while, motivation grew stronger and stronger. Those difficult times make you appreciate and strive for the good times even more.
I cannot close this chapter without thanking James Kennedy for giving me this opportunity in the first place. I would also like to thank the high performance committee, Gerry Mullins, Taylor Vard and Micheal Blake for there ever present support. Micheal Blake has not only been a valuable member of this committee but also my assistant, his relentless enthusiasm was infectious and I will always consider him a close ally. The interior staff at HSI and specifically Triona, Debby and Sophie for always supporting us from a far.
I am not sure at this time who my successor will be but I genuinely wish them all the luck in the world and I will remain a steadfast supporter of team Ireland.
I will now turn my attention back to my family, my business and my own riding.”