Canada’s Eric Lamaze will defend his title in the Rolex Top Ten Final on Friday night, December 8, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Lamaze will be among the top ten athletes in the world rankings going head-to-head in the two-round Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final, which offers 475,000 Swiss francs in prize money. Last year, Lamaze claimed victory riding his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal mount, Fine Lady 5, beating out Germany’s Christian Ahlmann (left) and Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat.
“The Rolex Top Ten Final is one of the most prestigious competitions that we have throughout the year, showcasing the best riders in the world riding their best horses at this moment in time,” said Lamaze, 49, who is currently ranked number eight in the world. “A grand prix is a grand prix, but the Rolex Top Ten Final is something special. Winning last year really meant a lot to me, and we’ll do our best to do it again!”
Prior to winning in 2016, Lamaze had contested the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final on four previous occasions, including in 2011 when he was the runner-up riding Coriana van Klapscheut. His other three appearances, in 2008, 2009 and 2010, were all aboard the legendary stallion Hickstead, the horse that carried him to individual gold and team silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As the event prepares for its 17th edition, Lamaze remains the only Canadian to ever contest the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final.
“I am incredibly proud to represent Canada in the Rolex Top Ten Final,” said Lamaze, the only Canadian equestrian athlete to have won three Olympic medals. “Thank you to Rolex and the International Jumping Riders Club for developing this innovative competition that truly showcases the best of the best in our sport.”
Prior to Geneva, Lamaze will compete in the Global Champions League Final in Doha, Qatar, from November 9 to 11. His team, the Hamburg Diamonds, are currently leading the standings, and will be looking to secure victory in the final event of the season.
Lamaze will compete in Doha with Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) and his 2015 Pan American Games team gold medal mount, Coco Bongo, a 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding (Caretino x Calido). Both horses are owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms of Wellington, Florida, and Vrasene, Belgium, in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.
From there, Lamaze will compete at the CSI5* Paris Masters in France from November 30 to December 3 before making his final competitive appearance of the year in Geneva.