Eric Lamaze takes a break from competition…
Eric Lamaze decides to take a break…
September 8, 2012 – Calgary, Alberta – After six years at the top of the sport, 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, will take a short break from show jumping competition.
Lamaze, who is currently competing at the Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament, will step out of the competition arena following the international event in Calgary, AB. In his last competitive appearance of 2012, Lamaze will defend the title he claimed in the $1 million CN International last year in front of 89,632 fans with the legendary Hickstead.
“After many great years of contesting the sport at the top level for 12 months of the year, week in and week out, I’m looking forward to taking a little break and enjoying myself by travelling and playing a little golf,” said Lamaze, 44.
Since winning the $1 million CN International in 2007 at Spruce Meadows, a feat he would repeat in 2011, Lamaze has travelled to international show jumping tournaments almost weekly from his base in Belgium, while also spending the winter season in Florida at the highly competitive 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival. Team Silver and Individual Bronze Medals at the 2007 Pan American Games were followed by a Team Silver and historic Individual Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. From there, Lamaze’s schedule continued to grow more and more intense, with major grand prix victories claimed around the globe as well as an Individual Bronze Medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the ‘Best Horse Award’ for Hickstead.
In November of 2011, Lamaze was dealt a devastating blow when Hickstead collapsed and died at a world cup qualifying event in Italy. While Lamaze questioned whether he could continue in the sport, he made the difficult decision to move forward, helped by the strength and support of his owners, teammates, sponsors and fans.