Lausanne, Switzerland – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, is once again the number one show jumping rider in the world.
The new Rolex Rider Rankings, released by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) on June 1, 2011, show Lamaze back in the number one spot with a total of 3,658 points. Reigning European Champion Kevin Staut of France, who has held the number one position since August of 2010, has dropped to number two with 3,457 points while Irishman Billy Twomey is ranked third with 3,245 points. The Rolex Rider Rankings are compiled on a monthly basis, and all points earned in FEI-sanctioned competition in the past 12 months are counted.
“This past month made a big difference in the number of world ranking points I earned, but it is consistent results all year long that helped put me in the number one position,” said Lamaze who has consistently been in the top four in the Rolex Rider Rankings since being named the Olympic Champion in August of 2008. “You have to maintain your position, and you need great owners and great horses to make that happen.”
Lamaze’s sensational month in May began with a second place finish in the 2011 Rolex World Cup Final on May 1. Lamaze and Hickstead, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, went on to capture the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of La Baule in France on May 15 followed by the €200,000 Loro Piana Grand Prix of Rome on Sunday, May 29, in Italy.
Incredibly, Lamaze also celebrated four major victories during the month of May with Coriana van Klapscheut, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms. The pair enjoyed two wins in Valencia, Spain, one in La Baule, and one in Rome.
“I decided a while ago that I was going to take my carer into my own hands and, with the help of my owners, got the horses to come and compete in Europe,” said Lamaze, 43, who has been based in Brussels, Belgium, for the past four years. “The venture started when I made my way to Europe and started competing at some smaller shows. I steadily worked my way up in the world rankings, until I was among the top 30 riders in the world, which meant I was invited to all the top shows. It is a great accomplishment to have a Canadian ranked in the top 30, let alone in number one.”
Lamaze continued, “I have great owners in Artisan Farms and Ashland Stables, and having a great team of staff makes a huge difference in allowing this to be possible.”
This marks the third time that Lamaze has held the number one position in the Rolex Rider Rankings. Lamaze became the first Canadian to ever hold the number one spot in the modern world rankings at the end of 2008, a year in which he claimed Individual Gold and Team Silver medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. Incredible success at Calgary’s Spruce Meadows summer tournaments in June of 2010 put Lamaze back on top of the world rankings for one month with a total of 3,225 points.
Lamaze next competes at the CSI5* Spruce Meadows “National” Tournament, beginning June 8, and he will continue to compete at the Calgary venue for the duration of its summer tournaments. He then travels back to Europe to defend his title in the €350,000 Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen on July 17 in Aachen, Germany, which he won last year despite breaking a bone in his left foot during the competition.
For more information, please visit www.torreypinesstable.com.
Photo: Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze is currently ranked number one in the Rolex Rider Rankings. Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley