Rodrigo is the son of Nestor Francisco Lambre, a great Brazilian Jumping champion who was at his peak between the 1970s to 1990s. Rodrigo represents Brazil, just like his Argentina-born dad, although he has lived in Mexico for almost 20 years. His brother Santiago has represented Mexico in the Olympic Games.
“I got interested in riding because of my dad,” he says. “He’s been a truly great rider. His passion and horsemanship got me into it.
“My first horse was called Spartacus! He was an amazing, brave horse and made me learn how much fun winning could be.”
2. He’s proud of being No.1
Rodrigo has shot up the Longines Rankings over the last two years to reach a current position of No.44. Just two years ago he was only just inside the world’s top 200, but a series of good performances pushed him into the top 50 towards the end of last year, and he now stands as the top Brazilian jumper, just ahead of Marlon Modolo Zanotelli and Pedro Veniss.
“I would say that being the top Brazilian rider at the moment in the FEI Ranking is my biggest achievement to date in my career,” he says. “It’s something I’m really proud of. I think last year was my best ever and reaching No.1 came about because of that.”
He’s certainly not resting on his laurels, however. “My biggest ambition is to bring a medal to my country!” he adds. “That’s what I'm working on!”
3. He’s a busy man
Rodrigo competes mainly in Mexico and big events across North America. Last year he achieved a series of wins and podium finishes at the Spruce Meadows series in Calgary, Canada. Having made 219 starts in 2018, this year promises to be another hectic schedule, and he’s in particular looking at making the Brazilian selecao for the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, which runs from late July to August.
“I started the year in Mexico in the World Cup events in Guadalajara and Leon,” he says. “Now I am in Wellington until the end of the season, then go back to Xalapa, Mexico and after to Langley and Spruce in the summer.
“I certainly have the Pan American Games in mind. I am working hard to be counted on the team!”
4. He dreams of the legendary Baloubet du Rouet
As a Brazilian star it’s perhaps no surprise that Rodrigo’s dream ride would be Baloubet du Rouet, the incredible chestnut stallion who won an Olympic Gold in 2004 and three World Cup finals with Rodrigo Pessoa.
“Baloubet du Rouet is one of my favourites,” he says. “Also Jappeloup. Amazing horses!”
Rodrigo’s first-choice partner at present is Chapilot, a 12-year-old bay gelding who has been with him since 2015. The two have won 10 events together in the last 12 months and recently secured a top-10 finish at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ event in Guadalajara.
“Chapilot is my No.1 horse because he’s a winner,” he says. “He has a lot of character – we get along quite well - but that’s what makes him special. Every time he gets in the ring he is ready to give me his best.”
Rodrigo also recently finished sixth in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ event in Leon with Coleman, a 12-year-old grey gelding he first partnered in 2017.
5. He’s a creative
Rodrigo’s talents don’t stop at simply being among the world’s best Jumping athletes. He studied advertising and graphic design, and maintains an interest to this day.
“Sometimes I still do some projects on that and love to spend time creating,” he says.
As for other sports, the Brazilian is unsurprisingly a keen follower of football.
“It’s my second passion,” he says. “My soccer heroes are Ronaldo and Romario. My soccer team is Gremio from Porto Alegre. I follow every game!”
Images from FEI and courtesy of Rodrigo Lambre (Facebook)