December, 2010 – Paris, France – Canada’s Eric Lamaze continued to dominate the European competition by winning the €50,000 Le Figaro Prix on Friday, December 3, at the CSI5* Gucci Masters show jumping tournament in Paris, France.
The Olympic Champion was one of eight riders to qualify for the jump-off, where he had the advantage of being last to go. Michel Robert of France held the lead with a jump-off time of 37.43 seconds riding the notoriously fast Kellemoi de Pepita when Lamaze entered the arena. Despite her young age, the eight-year-old Coriana van Klapscheut was quick and clean under Lamaze’s guidance, stopping the clock in 37.11 seconds.
“There were only eight clear and I had the advantage of being last in the jump-off,” explained Lamaze of Schomberg, ON. “There had only been four double clear, but they were fast. Coriana was so good; she jumped great.”
Lamaze began competing Coriana van Klapscheut, an eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Artisan Farms, at the top grand prix level three weeks ago. In her first competition at CSI4* Maastricht, The Netherlands, the mare won the €20,000 Milcon Prix on November 19. Last week at CSI5* Brussels, Belgium, she again contested the top grand prix events before arriving in Paris for the Gucci Masters.
“In the last three weeks, she has had to prove herself at the top level,” explained Lamaze. “I always thought she was a great horse, but now we have asked her to step up to a different league. She has handled it with class.”
Carlene Zeigler and her daughter, Caitlin, of Artisan Farms, were in Paris to see their horse win Friday’s €50,000 Le Figaro Prix.
“We always want to do well for our owners, and when they can actually be here to see it, it is very special,” said Lamaze.
The CSI5* Gucci Masters continues in Paris through Sunday. Lamaze will ride both Coriana and his Olympic mount, Hickstead, owned by Ashland Stables and his own Torrey Pines Stable, in the major grand prix competitions.
Following Paris, Lamaze will compete at CSI5*-W Geneva, Switzerland, which also plays host to the Rolex Top Ten Final, from December 9-12 to conclude the 2010 competition year. Lamaze then returns to North America where he will be based in Wellington, Florida, for the winter season.