Rodrigo (born 29 November 1972 in Paris, France) is a Brazilian equestrian show jumper. An Olympic gold-medalist in individual jumping, he is an accomplished rider backed by over 70 Grand Prix wins. He has represented Brazil at six Olympic Games, six World Equestrian Games, four Pan American Games and fourteen World Cup Finals.
Rodrigo first competed in 1981 at Hickstead. In 1984 he claimed his first title as champion of the Hickstead pony large pony championship and again in 1985. Quickly working his way through the ranks of the junior division and on to the seniors in 1988.
In 1990 he won his first Grand Prix in Nice, France and represented Brazil in the Nation’s Cup of Rome. Later that season he earned a spot on the WEG team for Brazil after placing third in the Grand Prix of Aachen at the age of 17.
He continued his triumphant career by competing and winning many Grands Prix. In 1992 he rode Special Envoy in the Olympic Games in Barcelona for Brazil, making him one of the youngest riders to compete in the Olympics at the age of 19. In 1996 he again rode in the Olympics in Atlanta and helped Brazil win the bronze medal with Loro Piana Tom Boy.
In October of 1998 aboard Gandini Lianos, Rodrigo became the youngest ever World Champion at FEI World Equestrian Games in Rome.
Pessoa took his career further by winning the World Cup Final on Baloubet du Rouet three consecutive years in 1998, 1999, and 2000. He finished as the reserve champion the fourth year. In his fifth and final World Cup, Rodrigo and Baloubet du Rouet finished in third place. In 2000 at the Olympic Games in Sydney, he again won the bronze team medal. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens he won the individual gold medal.
In 2007, Pessoa won the individual silver and team gold medals at the Pan American Games, held in his home town of Rio De Janeiro aboard HH Rufus.
In 2010 he finished fourth individually and fourth with his team of Brazil at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington KY. In 2011 he once again took to the podium at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara Mexico with Team Brazil to collect a Team Silver Medal on HH Ashley
He was also chosen to be Brazil's flag bearer at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. For over 20 years, Rodrigo has proudly held a central leadership role in the Brazil international showjumping efforts. In 2017 he decided to take on a new challenge of officially coaching the Irish championship team. This new endeavor has produced a team gold medal from the European Championships in Gothenburg and several 5* Nation’s Cup victories.
In that same year, Rodrigo and Alexa decided to relocate their family to the United States. They are currently operating a training stable out of Connecticut where they live with their daughters.