//Nelson Pessoa – Opening a path
Nelson Pessoa at the CHIO Tournament in Germany

Nelson Pessoa – Opening a path

In the early 60s, a young Brazilian tried his professional career in Europe. So far, no news except for the chosen career: horse riding.

Nelson Pessoa
Nelson Pessoa

During those days, equestrianism in Brazil was a sport very little practised by civilians. The military population had the majority of practitioners and the great names of that sport were officers of the Brazilian Armed Forces, renowned in the 50s. Among the civilians, a name stood out: the young Nelson Pessoa Filho, nearly a boy, who won important competitions in the national  scenario, and very soon became part of the Brazilian equestrian team.

Still as junior, he takes part in the International of Rio de Janeiro. Three years later he joins the Brazilian team in his first performance abroad, in the International of Buenos Aires, Argentina. During this tour, “Neco ” has his first international victory, in Mar del Plata. In 1956 he participates in the Olympic Games of Stockholm. In 1961 comes the opportunity to move to Europe.

The next step

Without acknowledging , Nelson Pessoa Filho started to become a legend and opened the way for a great number of Brazilian riders who followed his steps in search of improvement in Europe, the core of equestrianism. Over there, his accurate techniques draw everyone’s attention, and he starts being known as ‘ The Wizard’, so bewitching his riding is.

In 1967, during the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, Brazil amazes the favourites and earns the gold medal with a team formed by Nelson Pessoa Filho, Antônio Alegria Simões, José Roberto Reynoso Fernandes and Colonel Renyldo Ferreira. Neco conquers the silver individual medal.

A young Brazilian able to become one of the most important riders of all times, capable of influencing, with his incomparable technique and style, the world equestrianism. Nowadays one can say that Nelson Pessoa Filho is to horse riding, as Pele is to football. Besides being an expert on tracks, he also knows horse psychology deeply, as well as a studious of the genealogical line of sport horses.

Nelson Pessoa en el Torneo CHIO en Alemania
Nelson Pessoa en el Torneo CHIO en Alemania

He also stands out as a coach, experienced in guiding several teams in Europe, in the Middle East and in Brazil, helping in the conquer of bronze medal in Atlanta, the first Olympic medal of Brazilian equestrian sport. Neco’s greatest achievement as a coach is the brilliant career of his son, Rodrigo Pessoa, World Champion in 1998.

Main Titles

  • Two gold medal and one silver medal in the Pan-American Games
  • Seven times Champion (record in victories) of Hamburg Derby
  • Three times Champion of Hickstead Derby
  • European Champion Lucerne 1966
  • Winner of 150 GPs in Europe
  • Winner of over 100 Puisances
  • Four times Brazilian Champion


This article was originaly published in: http://www.rodrigopessoa.com/en/Team/Nelson/Nelson-Pessoa.html

To read more about ecuestrian world go to: https://gustavomirabalcastro.online/english/