Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze topped a starting field of 55 entries to win the $32,000 RSA Cup during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ tournament on Thursday in Calgary.
Riding Coriana van Klapscheut, Lamaze posted a time of 68.25 seconds, stopping the clock almost three seconds faster than his closest rival to take his first victory of the season at Spruce Meadows. Tim Gredley of Great Britain came the closest to catching Lamaze’s time, crossing the timers in 71.08 seconds riding Unex Chamberlain Z while Katie Dinan of the United States took third place with a time of 71.93 riding Nougat du Vallet.
In an event where speed is the name of the game, Lamaze and Coriana van Klapscheut are hard to beat.
“When she’s on like she was today, you can take all of the options and she’s really dependable about doing it,” said Lamaze of the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Darco x Heartbreaker) owned by the Ziegler family’s Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. “You never worry that you’ll turn too tight to the fences and she won’t see them. Today she was fast and jumped really well.”
Lamaze’s win comes during the second week of competition during the Spruce Meadows summer tournaments, which is rated a CSI4*-W competition by the FEI. Lamaze felt that Coriana van Klapscheut took the first week of competition at Spruce Meadows to get back into top competitive form, having not competed since CSIO5* Madrid, Spain, in mid May.
“Normally she would do Romeand then come here, but her last show was Madrid and that was a little too much time off for her,” explained Lamaze of the mare’s competition schedule. “She took last week here to settle down, and I think she is going to have a good week.”
Lamaze will continue to compete with Coriana van Klapscheut in the 1.50m division throughout the ‘Continental’ tournament. He will ride Verdi, his other entry in Thursday’s $32,000 RSA Cup, in the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix on Saturday, June 16. A 10-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood gelding (Heartbreaker x Mr. Blue) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, Verdi is one of the horses Lamaze is considering for this summer’s Olympic Games. One week earlier, on June 9, Lamaze placed second in the $200,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix riding Derly Chin de Muze.
Lamaze will continue competing throughout the summer tournaments at Spruce Meadows in Calgarybefore returning to his European base in Vrasene, Belgium.