August 24, 2009 – Valkenswaard, The Netherlands – Canada’s Eric Lamaze won the Young Horse Final held Sunday, August 23, at CSI5* Valkenswaard, The Netherlands.
Riding Coriana van Klapsheut, Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, placed second in Friday’s Young Horse qualifying class and third in Saturday’s qualifying class. With those impressive results, Lamaze and Coriana van Klapsheut led the standings heading into Sunday’s Six and Seven-Year-Old Young Horse Final, for which only the top 25 horses qualified from the original 70-horse starting field.
Competing in reverse order of standing, Lamaze and Coriana van Klapsheut had the advantage of being last to go. The pair was clear in the first round to advance to a 13-horse jump-off. They again left all the rails in place and stopped the clock in the fastest time, 34.78 seconds, to win over Dutch favourites Leopold van Asten who was clear in a time of 34.94 riding VDL Groep W Zermie and Eric van der Vleuten riding Wait And See who was clear in 35.16 seconds.
Lamaze has only been partnered with Coriana van Klapsheut, a seven-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare, for a short time. The Olympic Champion spotted the mare, whose impressive bloodlines feature Darco as her sire and Heartbreaker as her dam’s sire, while competing at CSIO5* Lummen, Belgium, at the beginning of May. Lamaze made arrangements to acquire the mare and took her to Calgary, AB, for the Spruce Meadows summer tournaments.
“I did some small classes with her at Spruce Meadows, she was green and I did not really know her yet,” said Lamaze. “She had been to a lot of shows before I got her, but just local shows, nothing like Spruce Meadows.”
Lamaze then competed with the mare in young horse classes in July’s CSI5* San Patrignano, Italy, before coming to CSI5* Valkenswaard.
“Again at San Patrignano, I just took it easy and got to know her,” explained Lamaze. “When I took her to Valkenswaard, I decided it was time to go for it! It was hard to win at that show, all of the good riders were there with nice young horses, but she jumped well. She is a small horse, but she is a really good horse.”
Artisan Farms owns Coriana van Klapsheut as well as Take Off, the mare that Lamaze rode to victory in Saturday’s €20,000 Medium Tour Grand Prix. Also on Saturday at CSI5* Valkenswaard, Lamaze placed fourth with his Olympic Gold Medal partner, Hickstead, in the €285,000 Global Champions Tour Grand Prix to qualify for the Global Champions Tour Final in Doha, Qatar, from November 12-15.
Lamaze will return to Canada to compete in the Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament held September 9-13 in Calgary, AB, where he and Hickstead will be members of Canada’s team for the BMO Nations’ Cup team. He returns to Europe the following week to compete in CSIO4* Barcelona, Spain.