ric Lamaze & Chacco Kid in the 2017 Imperial Winning Round at Spruce Meadows. ph: Tori Repole for NF
While Canada’s Eric Lamaze and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Chacco Kid (Chacco-Blue x Solara) have only shared a partnership for less than two years, the chestnut has already proven himself to be a valuable part of the team. He’s as versatile as he is agile, able to produce consistent results no matter the venue or cicumstance. After a nail-biting finish in the recent Global Champions League CSI5* Final of Rome, the pair have touched down in Barcelona, Spain to participate in the festivities at the Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final. The event is set to take place from September 28-October 1, 2017. Leading up to the competition, we caught up with Lamaze’s groom of three years, Bo Vaanholt, to get the scoop on the horse that is a puppy at heart.
- France’s Marcel Delestre purchased Chacco Kid in Colombia and sent him to Lamaze to try. The horse was originally meant to be ridden by Simon Delestre or sold, but Lamaze was really impressed by him and got a group together [the Chacco Kid Group] to make the purchase. The two officially became partners in February of 2016.
- The following month, they competed together for the first time in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.
- On September 23, 2017, the duo produced a clear round in the GCL CSI5* Final of Rome to help the Hamburg Diamonds maintain their overall lead in the standings.
- His stable name is Chacco and his best friend is Coco Bongo.
- We always say that he’s like a dog. He loves to cuddle and always wants attention. He will eat anything that comes close to him: his blankets, his bandages, and if you leave his door open he’ll take everything off the wall.
- So far he’s performed really well in every occasion and he is very flexible. If you have a small arena he would be a horse to take, but he also loves the big grass fields at Spruce where he can run and do his thing.
- We only jump him before we go to a show, but other than that he get’s flatted every day and he normally only works once a day. There is a forest quite close to us so our stable rider will take him there. That’s a good place to let him canter for a long time, which he needs to keep his mind fresh.
- Fine Lady 5 is obviously the top horse. Chacco and Coco Bongo are both a strong second. We are now in Barcelona for the Nations Cup Final and either one could jump it easily. Coco Bongo is very well suited to jump a Nations Cup course; it’s going to be big and take a lot of effort and he is a solid, clear round type of horse. He isn’t the fastest, so if you had a grand prix that you knew would produce a fast jump-off, you would choose Chacco Kid. It all depends on the show and what you need, but they’re both slightly similar.
- Eric is really confident [heading into Barcelona]. We spoke about it on Wednesday and he won’t do a warm up class [with Chacco] because he did so well in Rome. We’ll wait for the weekend when the bigger classes start. There is a class on Saturday and the grand prix on Sunday, so we will continue to flat him and keep him fit for those two classes and try to pull off either a win or a good placing.
- Now that Coco Bongo is back jumping the bigger classes, we can give [Chacco] a little bit of a break. Last year he did a lot of big classes to make sure Lady didn’t have to do all of them before the Olympics. For now we are keeping him at the 1.50/1.55m level so that it’s nice and easy for him, and whenever we need him we’ll step him back up to 1.60m.
- We don’t have a lot of shows left here in Europe. We are doing the GCL Final in Doha but we’re not set on who is going yet. I assume Chacco will do the Longines Masters of Paris and CHI Geneva [in Switzerland]. The horses will then get a little break before we start fresh in Wellington [2018 Winter Equestrian Festival].