Tag Archives: Eric Lamaze

Ben Maher Victorious over Eric Lamaze in Battle of Olympic Gold Medalists at Royal Horse Show

Ben Maher and Tic Tac. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, ON – It was a true battle of excellence as Olympic team gold medalist Ben Maher of Great Britain nudged Canadian Olympic individual gold medalist Eric Lamaze for victory in the $85,000 Big Ben International Challenge on Thursday night, November 7, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 97th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt set a testing track that allowed the best horses and riders in the world to showcase their skills in front of a packed house in the Coca-Cola Coliseum. A total of 15 riders qualified for the jump-off, setting the stage for a battle of epic proportions.

As the 10th rider back for the jump-off, Lamaze set a blistering pace in front of the home crowd, slicing and dicing around the shortened track before galloping through the timers in 37.17 seconds. Next to challenge, Maher used Tic Tac’s huge stride to his advantage. When the clock flashed 36.75 seconds, Maher moved to the top of the leaderboard and remained there to take the win for owner Jane Clark.

“I think a lot of people didn’t like me in the stadium here this evening to beat Eric, but it’s sport; I always try my best!” said Maher, 34, who won a team gold medal as a member of the British team at the 2012 London Olympics.

“[Tic Tac] deserved this win,” continued Maher of the 16-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion. “He’s been knocking at the door. He didn’t jump many shows, but he had a couple of second places, so it’s nice to win a class with importance like this this evening.”

While Lamaze, 51, was forced to settle for second with Fine Lady 5, he currently leads both the GroupBy Leading International Rider and Leading Canadian Rider standings, helped by a win in the $37,000 Jolera International Strength and Speed Challenge on Wednesday, November 6.

Third place in Thursday night’s class went to Margie Goldstein Engle, 61, of the United States who stopped the jump-off clock in 37.61 seconds riding Dicas, owned by Gladewinds Partners, LLC.

Earlier in the day, Daniel Coyle of Ireland claimed the win in the afternoon’s featured $37,000 Brickenden Trophy. Riding Farrel for owner Ariel Grange, Coyle topped a 12-horse jump-off after posting the winning time of 31.85 seconds. Next into the Coca-Cola Coliseum, 18-year-old Brian Moggre of the United States made a valiant attempt to catch the leading time riding MTM Flutterby, but he settled for second place when the clock flashed 32.28 seconds. Australia’s Rowan Willis took third place with a time of 33.29 riding Calisto 26, while Lamaze and his mount, Chacco Kid, were fourth with a time of 33.68 seconds.

For more information, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.

Another Emotional Victory for Eric Lamaze at Spruce Meadows

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid.  Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Alberta – Canada’s Eric Lamaze scored his second major victory at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, winning the $133,700 Suncor Energy Winning Round on Saturday, September 7, in Calgary, AB.

Hot off their victory in the $133,700 1.60m CANA Cup on Thursday, September 5, Lamaze and Chacco Kid, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Come On) owned by the Chacco Kid Group, returned to the international ring to repeat their winning ways.  The $133,700 Suncor Energy Winning Round is held in a format that sees the top 10 ranked riders following the opening round return for an all-deciding second round where the fastest clear wins.  Lamaze had the advantage of going last in the order and knew exactly what he had to do to win.

The 2008 Olympic Champion left nothing to chance, putting on a breath-taking display of world-class show jumping for the huge crowd as he tackled the testing 1.50m track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  As he sailed over the final fence and through the timers, the clock flashed 44.73 seconds, eclipsing the time of 46.62 seconds that had been set by Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca riding Limestone Grey.  For the second time, victory belonged to Lamaze and Chacco Kid at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament.

The victory was an emotional one for Lamaze, who publicly revealed in June that he has been battling a brain tumour.  After praising his “clever” mount Chacco Kid, Lamaze dedicated his victory to a long-time friend who was also a winner in the International Ring during her competitive riding career.

“My good friend, Kim Kirton, is here,” said Lamaze, 51, as he was being presented with the Suncor Energy trophy.  “She doesn’t travel too much but when she does, good things seem to happen.  Kimmy, this one is for you!”

Lamaze now turns his attention to competing with Coco Bongo as a member of the Canadian team in the $530,00 BMO Nations’ Cup, also on Saturday, September 7.  He will close out the weekend by riding his 2016 Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, in Sunday’s $3 million CP International, presented by Rolex.  Lamaze has won the event twice before, in 2007 and 2011, both times riding the legendary Hickstead.

Lamaze is the all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows, having amassed more than $6 million in career winnings at the iconic Canadian show jumping venue.

For more information on Eric Lamaze and his Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

No Stopping Eric Lamaze at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

Eric Lamaze riding Chacco Kid. Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Alberta – The all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows, Canada’s Eric Lamaze widened the gap even further by scoring victory riding Chacco Kid in the $133,700 CANA Cup on Thursday, September 5, during the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament in Calgary, AB.

Coming into the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament, running through Sunday, September 8, Lamaze had amassed over $6 million in career winnings at the iconic Canadian show jumping venue.

In the $133,700 CANA Cup, Lamaze was one of 14 riders to qualify for the jump-off after leaving all the rails in place over the tough 1.60m track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  The first to return for the jump-off, Lamaze laid it all on the line, jumping clear in a time of 37.80 seconds and setting the challenge for those who followed.  Try as they might, none could catch the 2008 Olympic Champion’s time.  Rowan Willis of Australia came closest, stopping the clock in 40.72 seconds – almost three full seconds slower.

“You rarely win these classes going first in a jump-off,” remarked Lamaze, 51.  “There’s always somebody that will find a way to sneak in on you a little bit or can see where you left a little gap, but Chacco Kid was quite fast today.  The distances were all in front of me and forward so I just kept going, and he kept jumping very carefully, so that was my advantage today.

“In general, you can flat-out run to a fence and feel that he’s got his eye right on it, and he’s taking care of you,” Lamaze said of the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Come On) owned by the Chacco Kid Group.  “It just makes you want to ride faster and faster.  It’s a great feeling.”

Lamaze is confident heading into the weekend at the ‘Masters’ tournament.  On Saturday, he will ride Coco Bongo as a member of the Canadian team in the $530,00 BMO Nations’ Cup.  Having finished second in last year’s event, Lamaze and teammates Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Kara Chad of Calgary, AB, and Mario Deslauriers of New York, NY will be looking to improve on that result as they take on nine other nations.

On Sunday, Lamaze plans to ride his 2016 Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, in the $3 million CP International, presented by Rolex.  Lamaze has won the event twice before, in 2007 and 2011, both times riding the legendary Hickstead.

“This has been a special venue for me since I was much younger than I am now,” said Lamaze, who is based in Brussels, Belgium and Wellington, FL.  “I’ve had the greatest memories here at Spruce Meadows; I’ve had the chance to win some major competitions here.  One cannot get tired of hearing the noise when you go through the clock tower and into the International Ring.  I think it brings out the best in me, and it brings out the best in everyone, because the last thing you want to do is disappoint all of the people cheering.”

Earlier this year, Lamaze scored back-to-back grand prix victories during the Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series.’  He won the $500,000 CSI5* RBC Grand Prix of Canada, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 8, riding Chacco Kid before claiming the $390,000 CSI5* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, riding Fine Lady 5 to close out the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ tournament on Sunday, June 16.

For more information on Eric Lamaze and his Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Inside CHIO Aachen 2019: Riders to Watch at This Year’s Rolex Grand Prix

Rolex Grand Prix winner of CHIO Aachen 2018, Marcus Ehning (Photo credit: Rolex / Ashley Neuhof)

From 12-21 July 2019, visitors from all over the world will once again travel to Germany to witness one of the most prestigious equestrian events of the year, CHIO Aachen. The nine-day event will play host to the second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix, in which the world’s top equestrian athletes will go head-to-head as they each contend for the highly sought-after victory.

The world’s greatest horse-and-rider combinations will be vying for one of show jumping’s most prestigious titles, the Rolex Grand Prix. With many of the world’s top 20-ranked riders set to compete, the field looks wide open; however, following strong recent performances on the outdoor circuit, there are notable partnerships that could claim the Rolex Major win:

Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann and his impressive Toveks Mary Lou have demonstrated outstanding consistency, having recently won the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show. The infamously quick duo flew through a faultless jump-off, defeating 15 of the world’s top 20-ranked riders. With the outdoor show jumping season well and truly underway, von Eckermann shows no sign of decelerating and has high hopes of continuing his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey.

Daniel Bluman made history at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena, becoming Israel’s first ever rider to claim victory at this prestigious event, after winning the Rolex Grand Prix. The complicated course saw only four of the 44 combinations go clear in the first round, with Bluman and his 11-year-old gelding, Ladriano Z, proving unbeatable after going clear in the jump-off. The 29-year-old rider has his sights set on his next victory and will pull out all the stops to secure his first Rolex Major title.

Rolex Testimonee and show jumping hero, Eric Lamaze, has displayed remarkable determination this season. Lamaze won the PwC Cup at last month’s ‘National’ CSI5* presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows, in which he and his mare, Fine Lady 5, won an electrifying jump-off. Just two days prior, Lamaze won the RBC Grand Prix of Canada presented by Rolex with his 13-year-old gelding, Chacco Kid. After his recent successes, the unstoppable 51-year-old rider will do everything in his power to lift the coveted trophy at CHIO Aachen.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Eric Lamaze Scores Back-to-Back Grand Prix Victories at Spruce Meadows

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photo by Sportfot.

Calgary, Alberta – Canada’s Eric Lamaze scored back-to-back grand prix victories at the iconic Spruce Meadows show jumping venue in Calgary, AB.  Hot off his win riding Chacco Kid in the $500,000 CSI5* RBC Grand Prix of Canada, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 8, Lamaze repeated his winning ways on Sunday, June 16, by capturing the $390,000 CSI5* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, riding Fine Lady 5 to close out the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ tournament.

Forty-one of the world’s top show jumping athletes tackled the technical track set by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt in the Meadows on the Green ring.  Seven riders, including three Olympic gold medalists, delivered clear rounds to set the stage for what would prove to be a thrilling jump-off.

2012 Olympic Champion and current number one rider in the world, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, was the first to return for the jump-off.  He set the early pace, turning in a clear performance in a time of 38.68 seconds riding Venard de Cerisy.  Speed demon Kent Farrington, a member of the U.S. silver medal team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was up next with Creedance.  His time of 38.73 seconds was close, but not close enough, and would leave him fourth in the final standings.

Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, a 16-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Artisan Farms LLC and his Torrey Pines Stable, sped around the track in a time of 38.65 seconds to move to the top of the leaderboard.  When two-time Olympic team gold medalist Beezie Madden pulled a rail with Darry Lou, all eyes turned to Canada’s Mario Deslauriers and Amsterdam 27.  The 1984 World Cup champion took his best shot, coming home in 38.67 seconds, just two hundredths of a second behind Lamaze and one hundredth of a second in front of Guerdat.  It was all up to the final challenger, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt.  Riding CHE Fantastica, Weishaupt crossed the timers in 38.78 seconds.  While seemingly close to Lamaze’s winning time of 38.65 seconds, it would only land him fifth in the final standings.

“I have never seen an event where the riders were this close,” remarked Vaillancourt, the only Canadian show jumping athlete other than Lamaze to have won an individual Olympic medal, claiming silver at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

“It was a great jump-off; everybody in there knows how to go fast!” said Lamaze, 51. “Anyone could have won today but my horse seems to jump the lowest in the air; she just skimmed the last fence.  She jumps quite flat and lands carrying the speed.  Some horses are more agile than others at being able to go fast, and it sure makes our lives easier.  My horse deserves a lot of the credit.”

Despite her winning form, Lamaze is already thinking ahead to Fine Lady 5’s future.

“She’s 16 this year, and she’s been an incredible horse for me,” said Lamaze of his Olympic individual bronze medal partner at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  “It’s hard to think retirement when you see her jumping like this, but I want to leave with her winning and feeling great about the sport.  She deserves it.”

Earlier in the week, Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 finished second to Farrington and Creedance in the Scotiabank Cup on Friday night, June 14.  At last week’s CSI5* ‘National’ tournament, the pair topped a 14-horse jump-off to win the PwC Cup on Thursday, June 6.

Following a week of rest, international show jumping competition will resume at Spruce Meadows with the CSI5* ‘Pan American’ and CSI5* ‘North American’ tournaments.  Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 are the defending champions of the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup, presented by Rolex, which will be held during the ‘North American’ tournament on Saturday, July 6.

Lamaze is the all-time leading money winner at Spruce Meadows with more than $6 million in career earnings.  For more information on Eric Lamaze and his Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Emotional Victory for Eric Lamaze at Calgary’s Spruce Meadows

Photo by Sportfot.

Calgary, Alberta – It was an emotional victory for Canada’s Eric Lamaze in the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 8, at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ tournament in Calgary, AB.

In his first competition since publicly revealing that he has been battling a brain tumour for the past year and a half, Lamaze scored one of the most meaningful wins of his career.  Riding Chacco Kid, Lamaze topped a seven-horse jump-off in dramatic fashion.  Jumping clear in a time of 46.25 seconds, Lamaze moved into the lead with two riders to follow.  2018 World Cup Champion Beezie Madden of the U.S. had the time, 44.62 seconds, with Coach but a rail down at the final Rolex fence dropped her to fourth in the final standings.  The reigning World Cup Champion and one of Lamaze’s closest friends, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, was the final challenger and looked on target with Albfuehren’s Bianca, but when the clock stopped in 46.96 seconds, the victory went to Lamaze.

“I didn’t get up this morning thinking this was possible,” said an emotional Lamaze, 51. “It shows what a good horse can do for you.  When you don’t have the fight in you, they fight for you.  It’s one the victories I will cherish forever.”

The all-time leading money winner at Spruce Meadows with more than $6 million in career earnings, Lamaze last won the Grand Prix title at the ‘National’ tournament in 2010 riding Hickstead.

“This is an ongoing battle for me and today is a gift,” said the 2008 Olympic Champion.  “With great support from Steve [Guerdat], my owners and clients, my staff, and people all around the world, you keep fighting and the dream came true.  With the great Hickstead was the last time I won this grand prix; he was looking out for me today.”

Lamaze has been partnered with his winning mount, Chacco Kid, a 13-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On), for the past three years.  The horse is owned by The Chacco Kid group consisting of Rick and Sara Mershad, Ludi and Carol Sollak, and Andy and Carlene Ziegler.

“It was his first real grand prix win in the International Ring,” said Lamaze of Chacco Kid.  “I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again – I do believe Spruce Meadows makes horses.  Chacco Kid arrived here three years ago and he’s a better horse because of it.  I can’t say enough about this facility.  Spruce Meadows is a place to bring young students and see them grow, and to bring young horses and see them grow.  If you win a competition here, you can win anywhere in the world.”

Leaving little doubt as to his will to win, Lamaze also claimed victory on Thursday evening riding his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.  The pair topped a 14-horse jump-off to win the $36,100 1.50m PwC Cup, beating out Ireland’s Conor Swail riding GK Coco Chanel and Lamaze’s student, Kara Chad of Calgary, AB, who finished third aboard Viva.

Proud of his students and thankful for his friends and supporters, Lamaze had the biggest praise for his equine partners.

“This is our livelihood but we are very close to these animals and what they do for us,” said Lamaze, who is based in Brussels, Belgium.  “The horses are a big part of why I am here today.  I don’t know what level I will continue riding at as the year goes on but I know horses will always be a part of my life.  I want to keep riding and I will keep fighting every day to do this.  The horse is the greatest therapy you can have.”

For more information on Eric Lamaze and his Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Eric Lamaze Opens Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament with a Win

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid, Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Alberta – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze opened the five-day Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ show jumping tournament in Calgary, AB with a win in the $70,200 1.60m Akita Drilling Cup on Wednesday, September 5.

Lamaze closed out the four-week Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series’ with a win, claiming the $500,000 CSI5* ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, July 7 with his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5.  His winning mount on opening day of the ‘Masters’ was Chacco Kid, his mount for the upcoming Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC.

“In two weeks, we are off to the world championships and I’m using Spruce Meadows as his training ground,” said Lamaze, currently ranked number three in the world.  “I think I’m doing the right thing!”

Lamaze and Chacco Kid, a 12-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On), faced off against 37 entries in the $70,200 1.60m Akita Drilling Cup with six advancing to the jump-off over the course designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.  With a time of 35.32 seconds over the short course, Lamaze took the win over Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat who stopped the clock in 35.53 seconds riding Alamo while Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan delivered another clear round in a time of 35.67 to take third.

“It’s always good to win on the first day because you don’t know what is going to happen the rest of the week!” laughed Lamaze.

Lamaze will saddle up Coco Bongo, owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, for the $460,000 BMO Nations’ Cup at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament on Saturday, September 8.  He will join Lisa Carlsen of Okotoks, AB, Kara Chad of Calgary, AB, and Ian Millar of Perth, ON in representing Canada in the prestigious team event.

Based in Wellington, FL and Brussels, Belgium, Lamaze is the all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows with career earnings in excess of $5.8 million at the Canadian venue.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Spencer Smith Wins Third Consecutive Grand Prix in Europe

Spencer Smith and Theodore Manciais. Photo by Solenn Rispail for R&B Presse.

Valence, France – For the third Sunday in a row, Spencer Smith of the United States claimed a grand prix victory in Europe.  Under the tutelage of 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, Smith won the CSI2* Grand Prix at Global Champions Tour London, England on August 5; the CSI2* Grand Prix at Global Champions Tour Valkenswaard, Netherlands on August 12; and the €100,000 CSI4* Grand Prix in Valence, France on August 19.

Smith’s first victory in London came aboard Happiness, an 11-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare (Quadrillo x Burggraaf) owned by the Watermark Group.  Nine riders contested the jump-off, with Smith jumping clear in a time of 32.62 seconds to claim victory over Great Britain Show Jumping Team veteran, Amanda Derbyshire, who stopped the clock in 33.32 seconds riding Cornwall BH.

Valkenswaard was the next stop on the Global Champions Tour and Smith had his work cut out for him.  From a starting field of 91 entries, 38 qualified for the jump-off in the €26,100 CSI2* Grand Prix with another 18 pairs again jumping clear.  With speed being the name of the game, Smith and Theodore Manciais, an 11-year-old bay Selle Francais gelding (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Power Light) owned by his family’s Ashland Farms, stopped the clock in 34.21 seconds to win by exactly one full second over Brazil’s Yuri Mansur riding van het Indihof Hunter and relegating Simon Deleste of France to third with Conbelleza.

With two wins at the two-star level to his credit, Smith stepped up to the four-star level in Valence, joining 39 other horse-rider combinations to contest the €100,000 CSI4* Grand Prix, presented by Axeria – SFAM.  In a repeat of their win in the $132,000 CSI3* Horseware Ireland Grand Prix earlier this year in Wellington, Florida, Smith and Theodore Manciais posted the only clear round to take the win without a jump-off.

“This is the third week in a row that Spencer has won the grand prix,” said Lamaze of his 21-year-old protege.  “The grand prix he won today was big; for him to be clear in the four-star grand prix in Valence was amazing.”

Winner of the 2014 Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal Finals, Smith made his United States Equestrian Team debut this spring as a member of the Nations’ Cup in Rome, Italy.  In addition to being one of several athletes that train and compete alongside Lamaze at show jumping’s highest level, Smith also works as a rider for his Torrey Pines Stable with bases in Brussels, Belgium and Wellington, Florida.

“Spencer is a great kid; he works hard, listens, and truly wants to be a student of the sport,” said Lamaze, who has long done business with Smith’s parents, professional trainers Ken and Emily Smith, of Ashland Farms based in Lexington, Kentucky.  “I saw something in Spencer.  He rode well, and he has been brought up in our sport by true professionals.  He had a background in hunters and equitation, and now he’s finding success at the biggest and most competitive show jumping venues in the world.

“He is a big part of our business at Torrey Pines and is a huge asset to our team, and he deserves every congratulation on what he has accomplished,” concluded Lamaze.

For more information on Eric Lamaze and Torrey Pines Stable, visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca

Inside CHIO Aachen: A Sneak Peak

Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)

The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:

Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.

One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.

Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.

Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.

Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Eric Lamaze Wins $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photo by Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Alberta – Three-time Olympic medalist Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 won the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, July 7, at the CSI5* Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ tournament, presented by Rolex, in Calgary, AB.

The victory marked the third one of the week for Lamaze and the second for Fine Lady 5, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.  Having won Thursday evening’s demanding $131,600 1.55m Progress Energy Cup, the pair was poised for another win.  They did not disappoint their legion of fans and were the only horse-rider combination to successfully jump the two-round track set by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela without fault.

“I really respect this fantastic mare,” said Lamaze of his 2016 Olympic individual bronze medal partner.  “She gives me everything she has and really understands the competition.  We had a few rattles in the first round, and it made her that much better for the second round.”

Eight riders jumped clear in the first round, but Lamaze was the first to repeat his faultless performance in the second round.  There was only one competitor still to come who could potentially match his clear scorecard to force a jump-off, the formidable Kent Farrington of the United States aboard Creedance.  When a rail fell, the cheer went up from the crowd for a Canadian victory.

“It really begins in the second round,” Lamaze said of the format that sees the top 12 riders following the opening round of competition move forward, carrying their faults with them.  “I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t happy with who was coming behind me!  Fortunately, I was sitting on my best horse with the most experience.  I know this arena very well; I’ve jumped in it many times, and that gives you an advantage when it comes to the second round.”

Currently ranked number four in the World Rider Rankings, Lamaze’s win in the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup capped a tremendous four weeks of competition comprising the Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series’.  The 2008 Olympic champion claimed no fewer than six victories with four different horses, namely Fine Lady 5, Chacco Kid, Chesney, and Saura de Fondombe.

“It’s a long, grueling four weeks of competition but every win at Spruce Meadows in the International Ring is special to me,” said Lamaze, 50, who is the all-time leading money winner at the renowned Calgary show jumping venue with earnings in excess of $5.6 million.  “Spruce Meadows makes great riders and horses.  I will never change my mind on that.”

Lamaze, who divides his time between training bases in Wellington, FL and Brussels, Belgium, said, “Every sport in the world is about confidence.  Any win at a five-star competition with these types of jumps does tremendous things for your confidence.  My next show with Fine Lady is Aachen (Germany), and I’ll be able to walk in there carrying this confidence.”

The 2018 edition of CSIO5* Aachen runs from July 17 to 22.  Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 are the defending champions of the €100,000 Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe, having won the past two years in a row.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, please visit www.ericlamaze.com.

CONTACT: Jennifer Ward | cell: 613-292-5439 | www.startinggate.ca