Paris, France – Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, finished second on the opening day of the Saut Hermès au Grand Palais show jumping competition taking place April 2-4 in Paris, France. A total of 55 horses were entered in the two-phase 1.45m international jumping competition featuring €20,000 in prize money. Lamaze was riding two horses, Take Off and his Olympic partner, Hickstead, and produced clear rounds with both horses to advance to the second phase. While both horses were again clear in the second phase, it was Take Off’s time of 27.33 seconds that placed Lamaze second overall in the final standings. The competition was won by Simon Delestre of France riding Orphee de L’Illon who stopped the clock in 26.52 seconds.
“Take Off and Hickstead were both clear, so we are off to a good start,” said Lamaze. “It is a nice show in a beautiful setting. The entire building is glass so all the natural light comes through, and you are in the middle of downtown Paris.” Lamaze will continue to compete with both Hickstead and Take Off for the remainder of the Saut Hermès au Grand Palais, including Sunday afternoon’s featured event, the €200,000 Grand Prix Hermès.
Take Off is a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by the Ziegler family’s Artisan Farms LLC. The Ziegler family, including daughter Caitlin who is a successful junior competitor, were in attendance at the Saut Hermès au Grand Palais to watch Take Off compete. While Lamaze will continue to ride Take Off in Europe this spring, Caitlin will eventually take over the reins. In fact, Caitlin showed the mare in the Medium Junior Jumper division during week 10 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, this winter.
“Caitlin rode her this winter, and I took her back for my last week of competition in Wellington,” explained Lamaze. “It is a good horse that can move down and then come right back at the top level. It was good for Caitlin to get to know her a little as the horse is eventually for her to ride.”
Lamaze has already enjoyed two major victories in 2010 in Wellington, FL, including the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III riding Ultra Boy for owner Ashland Stables and the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round V riding Coriana van Klapscheut for Artisan Farms, LLC. Lamaze was also a member of the victorious Canadian Team in the $75,000 CN Nations’ Cup held March 5, also in Wellington, FL, riding Ronaldo for owner Ashland Stables.
Lamaze will be based in Belgium throughout the spring season, competing at several major international show jumping tournaments including CSIO5* Lummen (BEL), CSI5* Valencia (ITA) and CSIO5* La Baule (FRA).
PHOTO: Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze and Take Off (pictured here competing in Toronto) placed second in the €20,000 1.45m international jumping competition held Friday, April 2, at the Saut Hermès au Grand Palais in Paris, France.Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com