The loss of Olympic champion showjumper Hickstead just a year before he would have defended his gold medal in London is a crushing blow for the equestrian world.
Month in, month out, you could almost count on a major win somewhere in the world by the incomparable Hickstead and his equally popular Canadian rider Eric Lamaze.
Without a doubt, Hickstead was the most dominant showjumper in the world in recent years.
Not since Ian Millar’s Big Ben has a Canadian-owned horse captured the public imagination to such a degree.
His scrapbook is packed with success and his passport has been stamped more times than most people. He won more than $3 million in his career.
Some of Hickstead’s major wins are detailed below. But after a spectacular victory in the $1,000,000 CN International Grand Prix in Calgary in early September of 2007, Hickstead underwent colic surgery. To the relief of his owners and the horse world, he returned better than ever.
Since they started out together in 2004, Lamaze and Hickstead have won several major grand prix titles, including Calgary (2007 and 2011), Geneva (2008), Aachen (2010), La Baule (2011), and Rome (2011), and placed in many more top-level classes.
Their last major victory came on September 11 in front of 89,632 showjumping fans when they won the $1 million CN International for the second time in their career at the Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament in Calgary, Alberta.
Eric Lamaze has some talented horses (and young riders) in his string, but the bay stallion’s stable will be hard to fill in many ways.
The equestrian world was waiting to see the dynamic duo out defending their gold medal at the next Olympic Games in London in 2012. Could he have won again? On current form, he would have been a hot favourite.
As a breeding stallion, his impact is yet to be felt. He was first approved at stud in 2009 and frozen semen was available for $C5500.
Such was his reputation the Canadian Sport Horse Association created a new category specifically to recognise Hickstead, granting him Platinum status while its other approved stallions are rated as Gold, Silver or Bronze.
Hickstead’s vital statistics:
Born: March 1, 1996
Died: November 6, 2011 (15 years)
Dam: Jomara (by Ekstein)
Breeder: Jan van Schijndel, Maren Kessel, The Netherlands
Owner: since 2004, John Fleischhacker’s Ashland Stables and Eric Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, Canada
Breeding approved: Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeders Association
American Holsteiner Horse Association (AHHA)
KWPN of North America
and in Europe: Hanover, KWPN, Oldenburg, OS-International, Westphalia, Rhineland, all Southern German, and new German State Verbands; Hanoverian Jumper Breeding Program.
Some of Hickstead’s major results:
September: Finning Welcome, Spruce Meadows
September: 2nd, CSIO5*, BMO Financial, Spruce Meadows
September: $1 million CN International, Spruce Meadows
August: CSIO5*-TL NC Rotterdam
July: $200,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Spruce Meadows June: CSI4*-W Scotia Bank, Spruce Meadows
June: 2nd, CSI4*-W CN Performance Grand Prix, Spruce Meadows
June: CSI4*-W ATB Financial Cup, Spruce Meadows
May: €200,000 Loro Piana Grand Prix of Rome
May: €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of La Baule
May: 2nd, World Cup final
April: Second qualifier, World Cup final, Leipzig
April: 3rd, Third qualifier, World Cup final, Leipzig
December: 2nd, €200,000 Rolex World Cup Grand Prix Switzerland
December: 3rd, CSI5*-W 10e Finale du Top 10 Rolex, Switzerland
December: Eric Lamaze named L’Annee Hippique’s rider of the year
October: Owners of the Year
October: 3rd, World Equestrian Games individual final
September: 3rd, CANA Cup, Spruce Meadows
September: 3rd, BMO NC, Spruce Meadows
September: 3rd, CN International, Spruce Meadows
July: Eric Lamaze world number one
July: CSI5* Enerflex Cup, Spruce Meadows
July: CSI5* D-Line Cup, Spruce Meadows
July: CSI5* $200,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Spruce Meadows
July: Rolex Grand Prix, Aachen World Equestrian Festival
June: $200,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix, Spruce Meadows
June: CSI4*-W Investor Cup, Spruce Meadows
May: CSIO5* Rome
May: CSIO5* Prix du Conseil General de Loire Atlantique, La Baule
May: Global Champions Tour of Spain
January: Exclusive stud agent for Hickstead in North America named
November: €200,000 Global Champions Tour Final round 1, CSI5* Doha, Qatar
November: Hickstead leads world showjumping rankings
September: Owner of the year award
July: CSI5* D-Line Cup, Spruce Meadows
June: CSI5* Spectra Energy Cup, Spruce Meadows
March: Equine Canada Gold Medal Award for Eric Lamaze
February: $75,000 Grand Prix, Florida
February: Eric Lamaze wins athlete of the year title
February: Eric Lamaze Canada’s equestrian of the year
January: Hickstead offered at stud
January: €120,000 GPA Equita Masters at CSI*****-W Lyon
December: Grand Prix Rolex in Geneva – World Cup
November: CSI4*-W Toronto
October: CSI3* Caen Grand Prix
October: named KWPN Stallion of the Year
August: Individual Olympic jumping gold; Silver team medal
April: $50,000 Charlotte Welcome Stake, CSI
February: $75,000 grand prix, Palm Beach
Return to competition after surgery
September: Spruce Meadows Masters $1 million CN International
October: Colic surgery
July: Bronze, Pan American Games individual; Silver team medal
August: 2nd, WEG-S World Games speed class
July: $60,000 ‘Kubota’ Big Ben Memorial Grand Prix
$70,000 Grand Prix Jumping du Quebec World Cup Qualifier