Pessoa steps down from Irish show jumping team

Pessoa steps down from Irish show jumping team

Rodrigo Pessoa has stepped out of the running for the contract to manage the Irish show jumping team towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Brazilian, who has been in charge for the past three seasons, had hoped to stay at the helm while also keeping alive the possibility that he could ride for the Brazilian team at the Games if selected, but he has now bowed out of the management race.

Last week he told the Irish Examiner he felt it was important that the current management set-up remain in place to keep the momentum going after Ireland had qualified for the Olympics for the first time since 2004, and that he would be prepared to “take a different role from time to time if there was a conflict”, which he said was workable if his assistant Michael Blake and High Performance Chairman Gerry Mullins continued to be part of the management.

He had earlier expressed disappointment that Horse Sport Ireland had not been pro-active in involving him in talks about his future ahead of the end of his current term, believing they had been planning to replace him.

Pessoa led Ireland to a first championship medal for sixteen years when his team won gold at the Europeans in Sweden in 2017, and, apart from Olympic qualification, he also secured Ireland's first-ever victory in the annual Nations Cup Final in Barcelona last month.

The statement said he wished his successor well and that he would remain a steadfast supporter of Team Ireland.

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