Dutch Double for Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Posted by Jennifer Ward, Starting Gate Communications

Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Hot off a victory with Hickstead on Thursday, Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze returned to the winner’s circle on Friday after winning the €23,000 1.50m speed competition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, riding Coriana van Klapscheut.

Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, and Coriana van Klapscheut were the fourth combination to tackle the speed course, posting a clear round in a time of 63.95 seconds.  It was a waiting game as 46 other horses attempted to catch the time set by the number one ranked show jumping rider in the world. 
Simon Delestre came closest, crossing the timers in 64.87 seconds with Napoli du Ry, but second place was the best the Frenchman could do.  Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten took third with 65.06 aboard VDL Groep Sapphire, American Olympian Lauren Hough placed fourth with a time of 65.46 riding Blue Angel, and Henk van de Pol of The Netherlands rounded out the top five with a time of 66.06 seconds on Chesterfield.

“She was amazing, she was blazing fast,” said Lamaze of the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.  “Going fourth in a strong field of competitors like we have in Rotterdam, I wanted to take every risk that I could.  It was a big enough course and she’s a very fast horse, but you never know if your time is going to hold up.  I didn’t feel like I left a lot on the table.”

Lamaze’s win with Coriana van Klapscheut comes one day after he and Hickstead, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood breeding stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Torrey Pines Stable, won the €23,000 1.55m competition on August 25.  Lamaze will ride Hickstead in Sunday’s €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of Rotterdam.

“It is my first time competing here, and it’s really nice,” said Lamaze of the Dutch show jumping tournament.  “It is really well-attended with a great atmosphere.  It has great footing and a great warm-up area.  Everything is top class.”

While Lamaze is competing in Rotterdam, two of his students, Tiffany Foster of Schomberg, ON, and 16-year-old Caitlin Ziegler of Mequon, WI, are competing in Arezzo, Italy.  On Saturday, they will both contest the grand prix.

At the conclusion of the Rotterdam and Arezzo tournaments, all three athletes will travel to Canada for the Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament taking place September 7 to 11 in Calgary, AB.  In Calgary, Lamaze will ride as a member of the Canadian Show Jumping Team for the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup on Saturday, September 10.

While Hickstead and Coriana van Klapscheut compete in Canada, Lamaze’s other two top mounts, Atlete Van’t Heike and Sidoline van de Centaur, will travel to Spain where Lamaze will ride for Canada in Nations’ Cup events in Gijon from August 31 to September 5 and Barcelona from September 21 to 25.

Photo:  Eric Lamaze and Coriana van Klapscheut won the €23,000 1.50m speed competition held Friday, August 26, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  Photo Credit – Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com