Friday, August 3, 2012

Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping Prepared to Compete

London, England - The Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping is prepared to begin competition on Saturday, August 4, at the Olympic equestrian venue of Greenwich Park in London, GBR.

The Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping is comprised of Tiffany Foster of Schomberg, ON, riding Victor, owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable; Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, riding George, owned by Brian Gingras; Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, riding Derly Chin de Muze owned by Ashland Stables and Torrey Pines Stable; and Ian Millar of Perth, ON, riding Star Power owned by Team Works. The alternate is Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, riding Carlotta Singular owned by Susan Grange.

All five team members, including the alternate, presented their horses at the horse inspection on August 2 and were accepted. All five athletes will participate in a training session in the early evening of August 3. Substitutions may be made up until two hours before the start of competition on August 4, in the event that any country wishes to use its alternate.

Eric Lamaze riding Derly Chin de Muze. Photo: Jeff McIntosh/CanadianPress
Lamaze, 44, enters the London Olympics as the defending champion. In 2008, he claimed the individual gold medal in a dramatic jump-off against Rolf-Goran Bengtsson of Sweden. Lamaze then suffered an incredible loss that stunned the sporting world when his Olympic partner, Hickstead, collapsed and died of an aortic rupture during a world cup qualifying event in Verona, Italy, on November 6, 2011.

"With the tragedy that happened, I don't feel like I am coming to London to defend my title," said Lamaze, who is competing in his second Olympic Games. "If I still had Hickstead, I feel that he would have been in good shape and we would have had a good chance to defend.

"I came with a good young horse," continued Lamaze of Derly Chin de Muze, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. "She's lacking experience, but she has the quality to go all the way. She has the quality to leave the rails up, and I think she's ready."

Having won the team silver at the 2008 Beijing Games, Canada will once again be looking to bring home the hardware from London.

Of the Canadian Team's chances, Lamaze said, "The team is very strong. Any time you have Ian on the team, it's a great team. Jill was part of our team in Beijing and you can always count on her. Tiffany and Yann are both on good young horses, but I would say that every team here has a younger rider or horse. I am happy to be here, and to be a part of this team."

Ian Millar 65 years old
Competing in his 10th Olympic Games, Millar, 65, of Perth, ON, is setting a world record in London with the most Olympic appearances by any athlete in any sport.

"The whole thing is such an interesting journey," said Millar, who made his Olympic debut in 1972 riding Shoeman at the Munich Olympics, marred by what is now referred to as the 'Munich massacre'. "What I notice the most is the evolution of the sport. It is not at all what it was in the 1970s. The type of horse, style of riding, and the type of jumps used are virtually unrecognizable. It has been an interesting challenge for me to change with it."

Show Jumping competition opens with the first team and individual qualifier on Saturday, August 4, and continues on Sunday and Monday, August 5 and 6, after which team medals will be awarded. The top 35 athletes from the original starting field of 75 then advance to the two-round Individual Final on Wednesday, August 8.

The Canadian Olympic Team for Show Jumping is supported by Chef d'Equipe Terrance Millar; Assistant Chef d'Equipe Mark Laskin; Veterinarian Dr. Sylvie Surprenant; Stable Manager Lori Green; and Team Manager Karen Hendry-Ouellette. Grooms include Cristian Canobbio (Foster), Jessica Dooley (Henselwood), Delphine Rouston (Lamaze), Sandy Patterson (Millar) and Anne-Sophie Canut (Candele). Kerri McGregor is the Team Leader for the Canadian Olympic Team for Equestrian and Tina Collins is Assistant Team Leader.

For more information, including live scoring and results, please visit the equestrian sport section of the official 2012 London Olympic Games website at

Source: Press release Equine Canada, Julie Cull,