Canadian Show Jumping Team Invited to Aachen
Friday, July 4, 2014
2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze has competed at CHIO Aachen on several occasions as an individual, most notably in 2010 when he won the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen riding Hickstead, despite breaking a bone in his foot during the first of three rounds comprising the competition.
"I've been going to Aachen by myself for the last couple of years," said Lamaze. "I always watch the Nations' Cup and, as a Canadian, I've often found myself wondering how Canada would do if we had a team there. I've been frustrated that Canada has not been a part of the Nations' Cup events at shows of Aachen's calibre, where the Nations' Cup team events are so important. For Canada to finally have a chance to be a part of it is an honour."
CHIO Aachen is also part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, with the other two stops being the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows "Masters" tournament in Calgary, Canada, from September 10-14, and CHI Geneva, Switzerland, from December 11-14. Any rider who wins all three grand prix events will receive a €1 million bonus. Winning two in a row earns a €500,000 bonus while winning two out of three, not in succession, earns €250,000.
"With Rolex initiating the Grand Slam, and with one of the events being right in our own backyard at Spruce Meadows, it is very important for Canada to have been invited to Aachen," said Lamaze, who is a Rolex testimonee. "It is an honour for Canada to have a full team in Aachen and for us as riders to represent Canada in that arena. We have a strong team and for us to be competing with the greatest nations in the sport, together as a team, is great preparation for Canada for the World Equestrian Games. It is really nice to be part of a Nations' Cup at a show in the league of Aachen's stature, and to measure ourselves as a nation prior to going to the World Equestrian Games."
Canada has enjoyed great success to date in 2014, winning the Nations' Cup events in Wellington, Florida, in February and Coapexpan, Mexico, in May. In June, Canada won the North American, Central American, and Caribbean League of the Furusiyya FEI Nations' Cup to qualify for the €2,000,000 Furusiyya Nations' Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain, from October 9 to 12.
The Canadian Show Jumping Team will compete in Aachen, Germany, thanks in part to funding provided by Own The Podium. The Canadian Team will be led by chef d'equipe Mark Laskin and Team Manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette.