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Eric Lamaze named Canada's equestrian of the year

February 9, 2009

Eric Lamaze

Equine Canada has named Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ontario, its 2008 Equestrian of the Year.

Lamaze had a remarkable year with many career highlights in 2008. His most significant accomplishment came at the 2008 Olympics. Riding Hickstead, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Torrey Pines Stables and Ashland Stables, Lamaze edged out Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson riding Ninja in the Individual Final jump-off for the Individual Gold Medal.

Early in 2008, Lamaze proved his consistency throughout the CN Winter Equestrian Festival by finishing in second overall in the $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge rankings. Riders accumulated points in designated WEF Challenge Cup and Grand Prix events towards the $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge and, after 12 weeks of competition, Lamaze was awarded the second-place bonus money of $50,000.

Lamaze and Hickstead were also members of two second place winning Nations' Cup teams in 2008 - the $75,000 FEI Nations' Cup, Presented by CN, at the CN OPEN CSIO 5* in Wellington, Florida, and the $350,000 BMO Nations' Cup at the CSIO Spruce Meadows 'Masters' Tournament.

He was also named as the Jump Canada Cavalor 'Athlete of the Month' three times in 2008 for his outstanding accomplishments in competition, and he capped off 2008 by taking over the number one spot in the FEI Rolex World Rider Rankings.

"Eric's performances at the 2008 Olympic Games were simply inspiring," said Richard Mongeau, Executive Director of the Fédération équestre du Québec, who nominated Lamaze for the award.

"The results filled us with pride. As the first time Canadian Olympic Gold Medal winner in jumping, and since then, as the number one athlete in the FEI Rolex World Rider Rankings, Eric has proven to all equestrians, that yes, we can."

The Doctor George Jacobsen Trophy was created in honour of the man who founded the Canadian Equestrian Federation in 1977. Dr. Jacobsen was a strong supporter of equestrian sport in Canada and internationally, with a particular interest in the young equestrians as he felt they were our future team members. To be eligible for this award, the rider must demonstrate superior sportsmanship, dedication and the pursuit of excellence in equestrian competition.



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