October 26, 2008 – Caen, France – Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, extended his winning streak by claiming the €60,000 Grand Prix of Caen in France on Sunday, October 26.
Having won a €20,000 competition riding Narcotique de Muze II and placing second in a €30,000 event with his Olympic mount, Hickstead, on Saturday, Lamaze returned to the winner’s circle on Sunday afternoon for the tournament’s featured event, the €60,000 Grand Prix of Caen.
A total of 60 riders attempted to win the coveted €60,000 Grand Prix of Caen with nine posting clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Lamaze, riding seventh in the order, took over the lead with a time of 38.07 seconds and neither of the two riders who followed were able to catch his time. Coming closest was Pauline Guignery of France, the only other rider to jump clear in the jump-off, who stopped the timers at 39.80 seconds.
In addition to winning the Grand Prix, Lamaze was named the Leading Rider of Caen while Hickstead earned the Leading Horse title.
“He felt amazing, he did two classes and had two double clears,” said Lamaze, noting that Hickstead, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, left all the rails in place throughout the competition. “It was a fast jump-off with an option that you had to do – if you went around, it was useless. A couple of the horses stopped out there in the jump-off because it was a really skinny fence hidden behind a tight turn. The times were really fast, and it was a good course.”
Caen is the third event that Lamaze and Hickstead have contested since leading the Canadian Team to a Silver Medal and claiming the Individual Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in August. They will now contest CSI5* Lyon, France, next week before returning home to Toronto for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair held November 7-15. Lamaze, currently ranked number two in the world, will then return to Belgium to participate in the Rolex Top Ten Final, featuring the top ten ranked riders in the world, held as part of the CSI5* Brussels Horse Show from November 27-30.