This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Three-time Olympian Eric Lamaze announces retirement to focus on health
Olympic champion and Canada’s most decorated show jumper Eric Lamaze has announced his retirement from competition. Over the past thirty years, the 53-year-old Olympian carved a path in his career to the top of equestrian sport through the sheer force of his talent and determination.
The celebrated Canadian rider, who has been battling brain cancer since 2017, last competed for Canada at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament in Calgary, AB, where he anchored the Canadian Show Jumping Team to victory in the BMO Nations’ Cup in September 2021.
Born in Montreal, QC, Lamaze began competing at the grand prix level in 1991and a year later was named to the Canadian equestrian team. His first major competition as a national team member was the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Hague, Netherlands.
In 2004, he met his ultimate partner, Hickstead (Hamlet x Ekstein), the Dutch Warmblood stallion purchased by John Fleischhacker. Three years later, Lamaze became the first Canadian jumping athlete in 20 years to make the top ten in the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) world rankings. The duo was considered the best competitors of their era, claiming Olympic gold in 2008 and leading Canada to a team silver medal.
Lamaze competed in three consecutive Olympic Games – 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio where he also won an individual bronze partnered with Fine Lady 5 (Forsyth x Drosselklang II), a Hanoverian mare owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines u
Together with Hickstead, he also earned an individual bronze medal at the 2010 World Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, where his beloved partner was awarded the title of “Best Horse”. They won team silver and individual bronze medals at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and every major grand prix show jumping title including Calgary, Canada (2007 and 2011); Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Aachen, Germany (2010); La Baule, France (2011) and Rome, Italy (2011).
Lamaze and Hickstead were inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2020-21 and Lamaze received the Order of Sport, Canada’s highest sporting honour for the induction. Most recently, Lamaze was named Equestrian Canada’s (EC) Technical Advisor, Jumping, which includes acting as Chef d’Equipe for the Canadian Show Jumping Team.