Hard Work and Dedication from Renata Rabello Costa

Wed, 05/20/2009 - 23:00
Young Guns in Dressage

Switching between eventing and dressage is not a peculiarty in the equestrian world. Ingrid Klimke, Heath Ryan, and Christopher Bartle oscillate between the two disciplines and are highly successful at international level in both branches of the sport. Even Laura Bechtolsheimer recently discovered eventing and acquired her first eventer, Billy, as a new boy toy.

The same goes for 29-year old Brazilian Grand Prix rider Renata Rabello Costa who initially was an eventer, but now has found her passion in dressage. This South American young gun won team bronze at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro and gave Brazil the right to send a complete team to the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong for the first time in Brazilian history.

Rabello Costa started riding at her family's farm when she was just a small kid. "At age 13 I joined the jumping club in my home town city Belo Horizonte and when I was 18 I started eventing," said Rabello Costa. Her late mother and her sister, Vitoria Rabello Nolli, were big eventers in Brazil and influeced young Renata in this direction.

"I competed in eventing until 2005 when I went purely for dressage." With Dom Caster do Engenho, Seguidor, Logaritimo and Magyver she racked up ribbons and trophies at CIC shows world wide. "Especially Seguidor and Magyver gave me much experience and took me to international two-star level."

But Rabello Costa decided to turn to dressage four years ago. She had realized that dressage was going to be her future. "Horses have always been my passion and dressage was a better way of representing my country at international level." Renata realized that she had to a get a serious trainer if she wanted to achieve something in the arena. Through her eventer boyfriend Ruy Fonseca Renata got introduced to Bermuda eventer Tim Collins who is married to Dutch dressage rider Leida Collins-Strijk. The student-trainer combination Renata-Leida matched and the Brazilian has been fine tuning her dressage skills with Leida in The Netherlands ever since.

Renata's first dressage horse was the now 19-year old KWPN gelding Mythos (by Wolfgang out of Wendy) which she competed internationally until 2006. "He gave me experience at Prix St Georges level but is now retired in Brazil." Her next partner-in-crime was the gorgeous 15-year old Dutch warmblood Monty (by Havel x Troubadour) which took her to the 2007 Pan American Games, where they scored the team bronze medal and finished 11th individually. The team medal enabled Brazil to participate in the Olympics in Hong Kong.

Because the Olympics work at big tour level instead of Pan Ams' small tour, the search for a Grand Prix horse was on. Renata finally came across Lone Jorgensen's Ludewig G (by Landfriese x Ibikus) and connected with the long legged bay Oldenburg gelding. "After a long search and trying a lot of horses, we found Ludewig. He suited me for getting experience. With him I could aim for a future Championship," Rabello Costa explained.

Though Renata did not make it on the Brazilian Olympic Grand Prix team, Ludewig G proved to be an excellent schoolmaster for her. They celebrated their World Cup debut at the 2008 CDI-W London.

Monty and Ludewig are Rabello Costa's only two dressage horses, though she is also listed as the owner of Fonseca's eventers Idaho D'Argonne and Legend Cordial. Commuting between Brazil, where Renata helps her parents in the family business, and Leida Strijk's stable in Riethoven, The Netherlands, has proven to be quite a challenge but a very educational experience. "The most important things I have learnt from Leida are hard work and dedication," Renata admitted. Time management has become essential to get the most out of her training stints in Europe. In Brazil, Renata and her sister run the family farm where they breed cattle and horses as well as grow organic vegetables. "I try to make a plan for training and shows between my back- and-fowards to Brazil. When I am in Holland I stay in Valkenswaard next to the stables."

Renata keeps her future plans realistic taking everything one step at the time. "I want to get experience at Grand Prix level and I always try to improve my riding. Of course I want to try to represent my country at major Championships." Her next show stops are the CDI Palac Mierzecin, CDI Hartpury and CDIO Hickstead.

Related Link
Coverage of the 2007 Pan American Games

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