La Baule, France – Olympic Show Jumping Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, and Coriana captured their third victory within a week’s time after winning the €23,000 Prix Groupe Lucien Barriere on Saturday, May 14, in La Baule, France.
The Olympic Champion and Coriana van Klapscheut enjoyed two victories the previous week while competing at CSI5* Valencia, Spain. On Saturday, May 7, Lamaze and the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Darco x Heartbreaker) won the €23,000 Trofeo Iberia before returning to the City of Arts and Sciences on Sunday, May 8, to win the €23,000 Trofeo Repsol.
One week later, Lamaze and Coriana stood in the winner’s circle yet again following their victory in the €23,000 Prix Groupe Lucien Barriere. The pair posted the fastest time in the speed competition, 41.70 seconds, to hold off French favourite and notorious speed rider, Roger Yves Bost who guided Nikyta d’Elle through the timers in 41.79 seconds.
“Coriana has been great,” said Lamaze of the horse he began riding for owner Artisan Farms in 2009. “She is a horse that I can use in the big grand prix classes as well as in the speed classes. She already won twice in Valencia, and then she won again today. Today’s competition was a big one, set at 1.50m, and it acted as a qualifier for Sunday’s Grand Prix.”
In Sunday’s €200,000 Longines Grand Prix, Lamaze will ride Hickstead, his Individual Gold Medal partner at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Earlier in the week, the pair placed fourth in the €23,000 1.50m Prix de Conseil General de Loire Atlantique.
“It’s been a great journey between the World Cup Final, Valencia, and now La Baule,” said Lamaze of his last three weeks of competition, which began with a second place finish in the 2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany, on May 1.
Also enjoying great success is Lamaze’s student, Caitlin Ziegler. The 16-year-old American is competing in Europe for the first time, and has enjoyed impressive results in the three venues comprising her European tour. At the European Youngster Cup for riders aged 25 and under, which was held in conjunction with the 2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Final, Ziegler placed third overall, making her the top North American finisher.
In Valencia, Ziegler placed second in the Trofeo Valencia, jumping at a height of 1.40m with her new horse, Butragenia, as well as third in the Grand Premio de Valencia Trofeo Nespresso with Herald 3. Arriving in France, Ziegler enjoyed victory on the first day of competition at La Baule, winning the CSI2* Prix Casino Lucien Barriere with Butragenia, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms.
“My introduction to showing in Europe has been an amazing experience,” said Ziegler of Mequon, Wisconsin. “I’m thrilled to have my first European win under my belt. Most importantly, I’m grateful to Eric and my parents, as well as my fantastic horses, for having the opportunity to be here. I can’t wait to come back!”
Her coach agreed, saying, “It’s been great for Cait to compete in Europe. It’s been good for her to come and get European experience, and prove that she is competitive internationally. We appreciate that the competition organizers have allowed such a young rider to compete at these prestigious horse shows, and she demonstrated that she can hold her own. I’ve really enjoyed having her here.”
In addition to the horses competing in Europe, both Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable have a selection of young and developing horses competing at the two-week CSI2* Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky, in May under the guidance of Canada’s Tiffany Foster and Alejandro Karolyi of Venezuela.
Following La Baule, Lamaze will compete at CSIO5* Rome, Italy, before returning to his native Canada to contest the Spruce Meadows summer tournaments in Calgary, Alberta. There, he will be joined by Ziegler, as well as the other riders that make up the Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines teams, for five weeks of show jumping competition.
Photo: Eric Lamaze and Coriana van Klapscheut, pictured after winning the €23,000 Trofeo Repsol at CSI5* Valencia, Spain, enjoyed three victories in one week. Photo Credit – Oxer Sports