Canadian Olympic showjumping champion Eric Lamaze has taken on a new role with Equestrian Canada (EC) as Technical Advisor for the federation’s jumping program, and Chef d’Equipe for the Canadian Show Jumping Team.
The position of Technical Advisor, a role held by Mark Laskin from 2012 until his resignation in November 2021, was part of review by EC of the Jumping High Performance program following the Tokyo Olympic Games
A hiring panel had been created to find a new Technical Advisor, with Lamaze, who stepped back from competing late last year, the successful candidate. Lamaze, 53, said he was excited to help lead the Canadian Show Jumping Team to future success in a new capacity. “It’s an honour to be named to this position and not one that I take lightly. I look forward to building on the foundation that Mark Laskin laid and am committed to the success of our athletes, both nationally and internationally. I have a strong vision for the sport in Canada and will not stop until we reach perfection.”
The panel consisted of former World Champion Gail Greenough; EC Manager of Sport (Jumping) Karen Hendry-Ouellette; EC Director of High-Performance James Hood; Own the Podium’s Chris Lindsay; 10-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar; and EC Jumping Committee Chair Karen Sparks.
As Canada’s most decorated equestrian athlete, Lamaze holds gold, silver, and bronze Olympic medals; an individual bronze medal from the 2010 World Equestrian Games; and four Pan American Games medals including team gold. He has won every major grand prix event in the world including Calgary, Canada (2007 and 2011); Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Aachen, Germany (2010); La Baule, France (2011); and Rome, Italy (2011) and reached No.1 in the world rankings several times over the course of his career. In 2021, Lamaze was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and was awarded the Order of Sport, the highest accolade an athlete can receive from their country.
Lamaze is based in Wellington, Florida and Brussels in Belgium.
“Fifteen years ago, I made the decision to base myself in Europe where I had the opportunity to compete against the best in the world, week in and week out, and learned through experience what it takes to win at the highest level,” Lamaze said.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise with my fellow Canadian athletes and guide us back to where we belong, which is at the top of the podium.”
Lamaze’s first opportunity to act as Chef d’Equipe will be during the CSIO4* Winter Equestrian Festival from March 2 to 6, 2022, in Wellington, highlighted by the $150,000 Nations’ Cup on Saturday, March 5. Lamaze will lead Canada in all team competitions, including the upcoming World Championships in Herning, Denmark, in August where Canada will have its first opportunity to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
“We are thrilled to welcome Eric to the position and are fortunate that he felt the timing was right to take on this challenge,” said Sparks, who was part of the hiring panel. “We are confident that he can build the national program and podium pathways and be the leader the team needs to be successful on the world stage.”
Meg Krueger, EC Chief Executive Officer, agreed, saying, “There is no one with more experience and a proven track record in our sport than Eric. His knowledge and passion are truly remarkable, and there is little doubt that he is the right choice to lead Canadian show jumping into a successful future.”