Hickstead and Eric Lamaze inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

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2008 Beijing Olympic show jumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead have been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
2008 Beijing Olympic show jumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead have been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Photo by ClixPhoto.com

Olympic showjumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead have been inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

They were inducted in the “Team” category during a virtual ceremony at the weekend. They were originally to be inducted last year, but it was deferred for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lamaze and Hickstead are widely considered to be the best competitors of their era. Among their many feats was claiming the Olympic Championship title at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and leading Canada to the team silver medal.

“I believe this is the greatest honour you can receive from your country,” Lamaze said after the ceremony. “Hickstead was incredible, simply one of a kind. Together, we were proud to represent Canada on the world stage. It is well deserved on his part; I just went along for the ride.”

Lamaze and Hickstead also earned an individual bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, where Hickstead was awarded the title of “Best Horse.” They won team silver and individual bronze medals at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as several major grand prix titles including Calgary, Canada (2007 and 2011); Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Aachen, Germany (2010); La Baule, France (2011); and Rome, Italy (2011).

The Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, traditionally held each October in Toronto, Ontario, was held virtually for the first time because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hosted by Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, the ceremony also featured a musical performance by Jim Cuddy, best known for his work with Blue Rodeo.

Lamaze and Hickstead are the second horse-rider combination ever inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, following Ian Millar and Big Ben’s induction in 1996.

2008 Beijing Olympic show jumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead.
Eric Lamaze and Hickstead pictured at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.© FEI

In addition to being inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020/21, Lamaze received the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour. The Order of Sport was presented to Lamaze while he was competing at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta, in September. It was a fitting venue for the presentation, given that a life-size bronze statue of Hickstead overlooks the Spruce Meadows Plaza.

Hickstead (Hamlet x Jomara by Ekstein) was bred in The Netherlands by Jan van Schijndel and born on March 2, 1996. Lamaze bought the Dutch Warmblood stallion in 2004 through Stephex Stables in Belgium and owned him in partnership with John Fleischhacker’s Ashland Stables of the United States. Before his tragic death during a competition in Italy in 2011, Hickstead had earned more than $3 million in prize money with Lamaze.

Eric Lamaze won his third Olympic medal for Canada riding Fine Lady 5 at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Eric Lamaze won his third Olympic medal for Canada riding Fine Lady 5 at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Arnd Bronkhorst, www.arnd.nl

Lamaze has competed in three consecutive Olympic Games – 2008 Beijing, China; 2012 London, England; and 2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition to the individual gold and team silver medals won with Hickstead in Beijing, Lamaze won an individual bronze medal partnered with Fine Lady 5 at the 2016 Olympic Games.

He owns and operates Torrey Pines Stable, a showjumping training and sales business with bases in Wellington, Florida, and Brussels, Belgium, where he trains many students from various nationalities at the elite level.

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