Calgary, Alberta – Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, took over top spot on the all-time money won list at Spruce Meadows with a total of $2,730,502 in career earnings at the Calgary, AB, venue.
Coming into the final day of competition at the Spruce Meadows “North American” Tournament, Lamaze needed just $14,000 to surpass long-time title holder and Canadian Olympic silver medal teammate, Ian Millar. Lamaze won that and more, pocketing $25,000 for his second place finish in the $175,000 Mercedes-Benz Classic Derby riding Atlete Van T Heike, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms, LLC. He also topped the G&C Farm Rider’s Cup standings, which reward consistency throughout the Spruce Meadows summer tournaments, to earn an additional $25,000 bonus.
Moving to number one on the all-time money list at Spruce Meadows capped off a fantastic week in the Olympic Champion’s career. On Thursday, July 8, Lamaze went to number one in the world in the Rolex Rider Rankings. The same day, he and his Olympic partner, Hickstead, won the $35,000 D-Line Construction Cup. On Friday, Lamaze guided Artisan Farms, LLC’s Take Off to victory in the $31,000 Pepsi Challenge. Saturday saw Lamaze and Hickstead, the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood breeding stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, claim the $200,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Having also won the $200,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows “National” Tournament in June, Lamaze earned a $50,000 bonus.
“It's been a fantastic week and a great ride with some great horses,” said Lamaze, 42. “That's what helped me get to this point. Here at Spruce Meadows, I try extra hard to win classes because it means a lot. Some weeks, everything goes your way and for me on this tour, a lot of things went my way. I have a lot of results, but I also entered a lot of classes. I arrived here with very good horses and ready to compete. I also have a great team of owners and staff behind me that allow me to do this. I'm very happy that it turned out the way that it did.”
Lamaze now returns to Europe, where he is based in Belgium, to contest CSIO5* Aachen, Germany, from July 13-17 followed by CSI5* Chantilly, France, and CSI5* San Patrignano, Italy. This fall, Lamaze will hopes to represent Canada at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, from September 25 to October 10.
Photo: Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze is the all-time leading money winner at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, AB, having amassed over $2.7 million in career earnings. Photo Credit–Spruce Meadows