Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, rode Hickstead to victory in the €23,000 1.55m competition held Thursday, August 25 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. From a starting field of 54 horses, 22 returned for the second round. Lamaze and Hickstead produced another clear in a time of 51.15 seconds to win over David Will of Germany who posted a time of 52.68 riding Don Cesar. A trio of Olympians rounded out the top five with Taizo Sugitani of Japan placing third, Ben Maher of Great Britain taking fourth, and Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios finishing in fifth.
“I was third to last coming back for the jump-off, and it was a really fast jump-off,” said Lamaze, who is currently ranked number one in the Rolex Rider Rankings. “Hickstead was a little fresh in the first round, and came back unreal in the jump-off. The jump-off was super fast, and he jumped unbelievable. It was great.”
Lamaze will compete with Hickstead, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, in the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of Rotterdam on Sunday before Hickstead travels home to Canada for the Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament in Calgary, AB, from September 7 to 11. “I opted to miss the Grand Prix in Valkenswaard two weeks ago due to the poor weather conditions, so it was good to get back in the ring and get ready for the Masters,” said Lamaze, 43. “It is really nice to show here, right in the heart of the city. I am hoping for a good day on Sunday.”
Lamaze and Hickstead have already claimed two major grand prix victories in Europe this spring, winning the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of La Baule on May 15 and the €200,000 Loro Piana Grand Prix of Rome on May 29.
In addition to Hickstead, Lamaze is also competing in Rotterdam with Coriana van Klapscheut, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, and Cachaca 4, owned by Artisan Farms. Riding Cachaca 4, a new mount for Lamaze, the pair placed eighth in the 1.30m competition on Thursday morning in Rotterdam. “I took it easy with him today, I am just getting to know him,” said Lamaze of the seven-year-old Westphalian stallion by Cornet Obolensky. “He is a really exciting new horse for me. I think a lot of him, and think he has a bright future in front of him.”
At the Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament, Lamaze will ride as a member of the Canadian Show Jumping Team for the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup on Saturday, September 10. For the $1 million CN International on Sunday, September 11, Lamaze and Hickstead hope to reclaim the title they won in 2007. Last year, they placed third. Lamaze currently sits at the top of the Spruce Meadows all-time money won list with $3,042,297 in career earnings to date at the Calgary venue.
While Hickstead and Coriana van Klapscheut travel to Calgary, Lamaze’s other two top mounts, Atlete Van’t Heike and Sidoline van de Centaur, will travel to Spain. There, they will compete as members of the Canadian Show Jumping Team for the Nations’ Cup events in Gijon from August 31 to September 5 and Barcelona from September 21 to 25.
Photo: Eric Lamaze and Hickstead won the €23,000 1.55m competition held Thursday, August 25, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com