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Simply put, Rodrigo Pessoa is one of the most successful riders in show jumping history. He won the individual Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome. He also won team Bronze Medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He also won team Gold and individual Silver Medals at the2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro and team Silver at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
Spurred by the encouragement of his horsemen parents, Shane Sweetnam began riding in his native Ireland at age 5. Born in Cork, Ireland, he attended the University of Limerick where he received his degree in computers. He began his Grand Prix career at age 16 and has since participated in classes in both North America and Europe.
He positioned himself among the world’s elite riders with standout performances in 2000 and 2001. He rode “Oh Star” to a fourth place finish in the $250,000 American Grand Prix Association Championship and tied for sixth at the FEI World Cup Final in 2000. His fifth place finish at the U.S. Olympic Selection Trials earned him the spot as the Alternate for the 2000 Olympic squad in Sydney, Australia.