Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, won the Individual Bronze Medal on Saturday, October 9, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY.
Acting as the world championships for show jumping, the World Equestrian Games are held every four years. On the final night of competition, in the ultimate test of horsemanship, the top four individuals ride their own horse over the course and then ride each of the other three.
Lamaze, the reigning Olympic Champion, rode his own Hickstead to a clear round and also jumped clear with Vigo d’Arsouilles, the horse of Belgium’s Philippe Le Jeune. He had one rail down at the first element of the triple combination with Seldana di Campalto, the horse of Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al Sharbatly, as well as the second element of the triple combination and one time fault with HH Rebozo, the mount of Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil.
Hickstead jumped clear for all four of his riders, earning him the title of Best Horse.
“My horse was great, he jumped well for everyone,” said Lamaze of Hickstead, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood breeding stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. “We already knew that he was the best horse, but now these three other riders know it for themselves.”
In the final standings, Le Jeune earned the title of World Champion with zero faults, Sharbatly took the silver with eight faults and Lamaze earned bronze with nine faults. Pessoa, the 2004 Olympic Champion, finished fourth with 12 faults.
“There is a lot of jumping at the World Championships, and there are so many great horses and riders that did not have the opportunity to be a part of the final four,” said Lamaze, 42, who was competing in his fifth consecutive World Equestrian Games. “I am so happy to have come this far and get a medal. I feel very lucky to end up with the bronze.”
Despite competing with a broken foot, Lamaze felt it did not hinder him on Saturday night, saying, “I tape it tight to stop it from moving, but it did not effect my performance.”
A total of 121 competitors started the World Championship event, which began Monday.
On Wednesday, the Canadian Show Jumping Team comprised of Lamaze, John Pearce of Stouffville, ON, Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, and Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, finished fifth among the 27 nations vying for the World Championship title. With a fifth place finish, Canada earned its berth to the 2012 London Olympics.
The Canadian Show Jumping Team was supported by chef d’equipe Terrance Millar, assisted by Mark Laskin; team veterinarian Dr. Sylvie Surprenant; stable manager Lori Green; Equine Canada Jumping Manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette, and all the grooms and additional support staff.
Special thanks to Canadian Show Jumping Team sponsors GPA for its Canadian Team helmets; SSG for its riding gloves, and Novartis Animal Health Canada Inc., the official supplier of joint therapy to the Canadian Equestrian Team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.