Rodrigo Pessoa

Irish Eventing team manager Sally Corscadden and Irish Show Jumping manager Rodrigo Pessoa sign contract extensions with Horse Sport Ireland

Horse Sport Ireland, the governing body for equestrian sport in Ireland, are delighted to announce that Irish Eventing Senior High Performance Director Sally Corscadden and Irish Show Jumping Senior High Performance Director Rodrigo Pessoa, have both signed contract extensions. Meath-based Sally Corscadden was appointed Irish Eventing Senior High Performance Director (incorporating the role of Team Manager/Chef d’Equipe) by Horse Sport Ireland in February 2017 – having gained more than 25 years experience as a medal-winning Eventing rider and coach.

At the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina USA, Corscadden guided the Irish Eventing team to the Silver medal – a result which secured Olympic qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. An historic year for Irish Eventing has seen Corscadden being nominated for the 2018 RTÉ Sport “Manager of the Year” title, while the Irish Eventing team are also nominated for RTÉ Sport “Team of the Year.”

Speaking after signing a new two-year contract which takes her up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Corscadden said:

“I would like to thank Horse Sport Ireland for the fantastic support I have had since my appointment in 2017, particularly in the preparations for our successful campaign for the World Equestrian Games this year. Of course, our great results would not have been possible without the huge team effort from all involved including our generous owners, sponsors, the members of Eventing Ireland and the backing of Sport Ireland.

“It is a great honour to be representing Team Ireland and leading our world class team of coaches, support staff and riders towards Tokyo 2020. Preparations are already underway and we are looking forward to the exciting challenges ahead on the journey towards podium success for Ireland.”

Former Olympic, World Cup and World Champion, Brazil-born Rodrigo Pessoa was appointed Irish Show Jumping Senior High Performance Director (incorporating the role of Team Manager/Chef d’Equipe) in March 2017. Later that year he guided the Irish team, sponsored by Devenish & The Underwriting Exchange, to the gold medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. Pessoa’s team were named 2017 RTÉ Sport “Team of the Year,” beating off strong competition to win by public vote.

The season ahead will see Pessoa bid to secure Olympic qualification for the Irish Show Jumping team, with three Olympic places on offer at the 2019 European Championships in The Netherlands, and one final place on offer at the 2019 FEI Nations Cup final. Pessoa has signed a one-year extension to his current contract, with an option to renew for a further year.

Pessoa said:

“I am honored that Horse Sport Ireland has chosen to reappoint me for another year to continue what we started in 2017. It has been an incredible human and sporting experience for me [as Irish team manager]. I have enjoyed all the good times we have had and also learned a lot from any failures which only make us better. Now we turn all our attention to focus on Rotterdam [venue for the 2019 European Championships] and qualification for the Olympics is an absolute priority for Team Ireland this year.”

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said:
“We are delighted that both Sally Corscadden and Rodrigo Pessoa have agreed to extend their contracts with us. We are extremely lucky to have two managers of the highest caliber at the helm of our Eventing and Show Jumping teams along with their hugely important support staff. We look forward to what promises to be another exciting year in 2019 and wish all our teams the very best of luck.”

Gerry Mullins, Chairman of the Horse Sport Ireland High Performance Show Jumping Committee added:
“I am delighted that the Board of HSI has shown confidence in the current Irish team management of Rodrigo Pessoa and his assistant Michael Blake. I look forward to the close co-operation between our High Performance Committee and the Irish international riders together with their owners who give so generously of their time and horses to the national team effort. Qualification for the Olympics will be the main aim for 2019 and our focus on that starts right now.”

(press release)