Monday, May 10, 2010

Victory in Valencia for Eric Lamaze

Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze riding Hickstead claimed victory in the €20,000 Trofeo NH Hotels competition held Friday, May 7, in Valencia, ESP. He also placed second in the day’s other featured competition, the €20,000 Trofeo El Corte Inglis, riding Take Off.

The competition in Valencia, ranked a CSI5* event, is the first stop on the 2010 Global Champions Tour, which links together nine of the world’s top show jumping events. A total of 16 riders from the original 49-horse starting field were clear in the first round of the €20,000 1.50m Trofeo NH Hotels competition to qualify for the jump-off. Lamaze was early in the jump-off and posted a clear round in a time of 46.31 seconds with Hickstead, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Lamaze and Ashland Stables. None who followed were able to catch his time, with runner-up Timothee Anciaume of France posting 46.83 riding Lamm de Fetan and Alvaro de Miranda Neto of Brazil crossing the timers in 47.70 seconds riding AD Untouchable for third place.

“I went for a nice round in the jump-off, I didn’t want to go too fast when we have the Grand Prix tomorrow,” said Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, who will ride Hickstead in Saturday evening’s €300,000 Global Champions Tour Grand Prix. “I didn’t necessarily think I was going to win with that round. Another horse was faster, but had one down. It was just one of those days.”

Lamaze also placed second in the €20,000 1.45m Trofeo El Corte Inglis riding Take Off, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms LLC. Featuring a starting field of 50 horses, the fastest clear round belonged to France’s Simon Delestre riding Orphee de L’Illon. The pair stopped the clock in 51.21 seconds compared to the time of 52.82 seconds posted by Lamaze and Take Off. American rider Richard Spooner was third in a time of 53.02 seconds riding Pako.

“Take Off is on a roll, she has been great everywhere I have taken her,” said Lamaze, whose most recent victory with Take Off came on April 3 in the €50,000 Prix GL Events in Paris, FRA.

Lamaze, who is currently based in Belgium, will be returning to Canada in June to compete at the Spruce Meadows summer tournaments in Calgary, AB.