Marina Azevedo of Brazil built the 13-effort track, which included two double combinations and several inside turns, as well as long approaches to make up time as they raced to the finish line in hopes of topping the leaderboard. Thirty-five top international athletes vied for first place honors over Azevedo’s speed course with 21 combinations finishing on zero faults.
Ward was third in the ring with Blossom Z, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Heller, Wyndmont and Ward. They set the pace to beat, wearing a target on their back after breaking the beam in 58.10 seconds. The rest of the field tried to catch them, with 17-year-old Debney coming close midway through the class with Boheme De La Roque, a 10-year-old Selle Francais Mare owned by Temple Equestrian LLC. Debney stopped the clock in 58.42 seconds with all the rails intact to finish just behind the Olympian, Ward.
However, Pessoa and Venice Beach, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC, had the luck of the draw in their favor. As the penultimate combination to enter the ring, Pessoa was able to watch Ward’s round and better it by half a second, cruising through the finish line a faultless 57.74 seconds to capture the victory, while Ward would settle for second and Debney rounded out the top three.Pessoa was confident in his mare and knew that she could rise to the occasion again this week. Venice Beach is known for excelling in speed class and after watching most of the class, Rodrigo knew exactly what he had to do for them to be victorious yet again.