Francois Lamontagne & Chanel du Calvaire competing in the Big Ben Challenge at The Royal. Ph. ©Meghan Basco.
In his debut year competing in the international division at The Royal Winter Fair CSI4*-W, Francois Lamontagne carried the Canadian flag high and closed out his week with the show’s top Canadian honor bestowed upon him.
The 33-year-old professional rider is based in chilly Quebec, 500 kilometers northeast of Toronto, Canada, where The Royal Winter Fair takes place, but the competition has always been like a home show for him. He’s been attending The Royal since he was a young child, and has come up the levels with hallmark wins in Toronto’s hallowed arena.
In 2011, Lamontagne topped the Jump Canada Talent Squad Final in 2011 riding Barron, a horse that Lamontagne developed. That’s the same Barron that Lucy Davis bought in 2013, and went on to win a team silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“To do the international division at The Royal is a dream that I have had since I was a child,” said an ecstatic Lamontagne. He also claimed the title of Reserve Canadian Show Jumping Champion on opening weekend.
To cap off his two weeks at The Royal, Lamontagne was presented with the Moffat Dunlap Leading Canadian Rider Award while his mount, Chanel du Calvaire, claimed the All-Canadian Cup as the leading Canadian-owned horse during the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show. Lamontagne owns the flashy, 9-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare (Luccianno x Una du Calvaire) himself. The All-Canadian Cup was presented by the Grange Family, representing Lothlorien Farm of Cheltenham, ON.
“It was really special to show here this week,” Lamontagne added. “It doesn’t happen often that there are so many people that come to watch show jumping, and the atmosphere was amazing!”