Monday, November 2, 2009

Olympic Champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead Win in Lyon, France

Lyon, France – It may have been more than a year since Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Hickstead captured the Olympic Gold Medal, but the pair proved that they are still at the top of their game by winning the €120,000 Equita Masters by GPA held Saturday, October 31, at CSI5*-W Lyon, France.

Saturday’s featured class consisted of two rounds of jumping over two unique tracks set by renowned German course designer, Frank Rothenberger. In the first round, Lamaze and Hickstead were one of six pairs to post a clear round.

Coming back for the second round, Ireland’s Jessica Kurten was the first rider to post another clear round in a time of 44.51 seconds riding Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois. With their signature speed, Lamaze and Hickstead then shaved more than two full seconds off Kurten’s time, stopping the timers in 42.10 seconds. Marco Kutscher was the only other rider to manage a second clear round riding Clintus, but his time of 44.34 seconds did not even come close to catching Lamaze, leaving the German rider second.

For the victory, Lamaze earned €30,000 of the total €120,000 in prize money on offer.

“He is an amazing horse,” said Lamaze of Hickstead, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Ashland Stables and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. “I started out with a great show yesterday, and today was even better.”

On Friday, Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, won the competition for Seven-Year-Old horses riding Coriana van Klapscheut and placed fourth in the €20,000 Prix Region Rhone-Alpes riding Take Off. Both horses are owned by Artisan Farms. Lamaze also competed with Hickstead on Friday, guiding him to a conservative clear round for ninth place in preparation for the weekend’s featured events.

On Sunday, Lamaze will close out the show jumping tournament in Lyon by competing with Hickstead in the €200,000 Rolex World Cup Grand Prix. The competition is a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup Final to be held next April in Geneva, Switzerland.

Following CSI5*-W Lyon, Lamaze, currently ranked the number two show jumping rider in the world, will compete at CSI5*-W Verona, ITA, from November 5-8. He and Hickstead will then travel to Doha, Qatar, for the Global Champions Tour Final, held November 11-14, where more than €1.4 million in prize money will be on the line.