NEWS ABOUT OUR FRIEND AND HERO, ERIC LAMAZE

June 07, 2019

NEWS ABOUT OUR FRIEND AND HERO, ERIC LAMAZE

 

The staff and riders of Foothills Farm are reeling from the heartbreaking news that our good friend, Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, has been battling a brain tumour for the past year and a half. At the same time, we know that if anyone can beat such a devastating diagnosis, it is Eric.  

Eric, 51, first revealed his health condition in a televised interview that aired in France in May. “It took me a very long time to be able to discuss it with the people around me,” he said in a transcript of the interview translated into English. “The last thing I wanted was to scare them. I did not know how to tell them.”

A member of the Canadian Equestrian Team for show jumping, Eric competed at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, where he won a silver medal in the team event and a gold medal in the individual show jumping event. He and his beloved horse, Hickstead, managed to complete the rare feat of only having one rail fall during the entire competition. It’s just one example of Eric’s determination and his drive to succeed.

Eric Lamaze wins 2008 Beijing gold medal riding Hickstead the horse

Photographs from Torrey Pines Stable

After Beijing, Eric represented Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London and at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where he competed in a nail-biter of a jump-off for the bronze medal, only to be edged out by the German team. He later won the bronze in individual show jumping – the only thing keeping him from winning his second gold medal was a single knocked rail.

True to Eric’s steadfast personality, receiving the cancer diagnosis may have been a personal setback, but he has been resolved not to let it end his incredible riding career.  

“I was going to bed very early, I was trying to keep riding. I had made the decision to continue riding until the day (my body) would not work anymore,” he said, admitting that he temporarily withdrew from friends and pulled back from the jumping scene.

But after taking a six month break from international competition, Eric made a comeback at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival, placing 12th in the $500000 Rolex Grand Prix. This year, he has also competed at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami, placed second in the Prix FFE-Generali at the Longines International Jumping of La Baule and represented Team Canada in France at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup. Closer to home, Eric continues to amaze, even making a run for top spot at the Nationals at Spruce Meadows in Calgary.

Not only is Eric a star of the circuit, he is part of the Foothills family. For years, he famously took time out of his busy schedule to give back by conducting riding clinics and worked closely with his good friend Cathy Inch, head coach and founder of Foothills Farm.

Read More > Cathy Inch: My Longtime Friendship with Eric

Many of our riders look up to Eric, impressed that Canada’s all-time winning rider in the international riding ring spent much of his formative years in the Sudbury area and continues to have a strong presence in northwestern Ontario.   

As we cheer on Eric, please join us in offering our full support and in wishing him not only the best possible path but many more memorable rides ahead.

 

 




Also in Blog

Ella Palladino and Holly Heikkila are representing Foothills Farm at the 2023 Royal Agriculture Winter Fair
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2023

November 07, 2023

Read More

Ella Palladino and Lise are heading to the Royal Winter Fair in the 1.20m Junior Jumpers
Foothills Rider Profile: Ella Palladino

November 07, 2023

Ready to experience the magic of the Royal as a competitor, Ella will be entering the Royal Ring for the first time. We sat down with her to ask her about her journey to the Royal, along with any advice she has for riders who have their eye on qualifying for the Royal next year.

Read More

Holly Heikkila and La Jovena Venganza are heading to the Royal Winter Fair in the CET National Finals
Foothills Rider Profile: Holly Heikkila

November 07, 2023

Not a stranger to the magic of the Royal, Holly will be returning to the Royal Ring for her second Royal Winter Fair debut. We sat down with her to ask her about her journey to the Royal, along with any advice she has for riders who have their eye on qualifying for the Royal next year.

Read More