2008 Olympic Show Jumping Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, has selected Fine Lady 5 as his mount for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Lamaze was considering three horses for the upcoming Olympic Games, all owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. His 2015 Pan American Games team gold medal partner, Coco Bongo, and Check Picobello Z were also in contention but, following the opening week of competition at the CSI5* Spruce Meadows ‘National’ tournament in Calgary, AB, Lamaze has made his choice.
“She is the most reliable, experienced horse that I have,” said Lamaze, of the 13-year-old bay Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II). “Every time I have asked her to step up and do a big class, she has always done it easily.”
Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 placed fourth place in the $85,000 1.55m Bantrel Cup on opening day at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ tournament on June 8. In Saturday’s feature event, Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 were on form, easily jumping two clear rounds to take second in the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex.
“Ever since the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva when she jumped double clear in one of the biggest grand prix events in the world, I have thought she could be my Olympic horse,” said Lamaze, 48, of their third place performance in the €1,110,000 1.60m Rolex Grand Prix at CSI5* Geneva, Switzerland, on December 13. “I talked to (chef d’equipe) Mark Laskin then about her being the horse for Rio, and today’s performance confirms what my thoughts were in December. She proved she is the right horse for the job.”
Only four days into the four-week Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Lamaze has dominated the results. Having placed second in two different events on Wednesday, Lamaze scored victory in the $35,000 1.50m ATCO Cup on Thursday, June 9, riding Melody des Hayettes Z and also placed third in the $35,000 1.55m ATB Financial Cup with Check Picobello Z. On Friday night, Lamaze finished runner-up in the $35,000 1.50m RBC Markets Cup riding Chacco Kid, owned by Lamaze, Rick and Sara Mershad, Ludi and Carol Sollak, and Andy and Carlene Ziegler.
By Saturday, Lamaze was once again leading the victory gallop, this time with Rosana du Park. The pair beat out fellow Canadian and Artisan Farms rider Tiffany Foster aboard Brighton in the $60,000 TransCanada Winning Round.
Lamaze will continue to bring Fine Lady 5 into Olympic form throughout the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, running through to July 10. The pair last competed in Calgary at the 2015 CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in September where they won the $35,000 1.50m ATCO Cup, placed second in the $35,000 1.50m TELUS Cup, and were members of the third-placed Canadian Team in the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup.
Last month at CSIO5* La Baule, France, Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 claimed victory in the €28,000 1.50m Prix FFE as well as the €25,000 1.50m Prix S.C.H. La Baule – Cap Atlantique.