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29 Jan 2007
IOC News

A Lucky Dollar for three exceptional horsemen

No, “Lucky Dollar” is not the name of a horse. It is a real American dollar. Generally speaking, a Lucky Dollar is a coin, but in this story it is a dollar bill.
Worth more than gold…
Bill Steinkraus, Olympic show jumping champion in Mexico City in 1968, had a greenback in his pocket when he took part in the competition that would lead him to the highest step of the Olympic podium. Twenty years later, at the Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul, he handed this lucky charm over to French horseman Pierre Durand. Riding Jappeloup de Luze, Durand won a legendary gold medal, while his unforgettable little horse, who was nowhere near as well-built as his rivals (just over 15 hands), was the star of these Games.
…and a third medal in Athens in 2004
Sixteen years later, in Athens, Pierre Durand handed the precious note to Rodrigo Pessoa. On Baloubet du Rouet, his fabulous chestnut stallion, he also became Olympic champion, even if he only received the Olympic gold medal after the Games, following the disqualification of Irish horseman Cian O’Connor, who was found guilty of doping.
Three legendary man-and-horse partnerships
Bill Steinkraus, Pierre Durand and Rodrigo Pessoa are exceptional, talented, elegant and perfectionist horsemen, all of whom have formed legendary partnerships with their horses. In 2005, in Tampa, Snowbound entered into the showjumping Hall of Fame. Jappeloup is even well-known in non-horse-riding circles. Baloubet du Rouet and Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa are the most famous partnership of the last few years.

The Lucky Dollar was recently donated to the Olympic Museum by Pierre Durand and Rodrigo Pessoa. It is one of the objects on view in the 2006 Acquisitions exhibition which will be held from 15 February to 10 June this year.
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