Canadian Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze has been named Equestrian Canada’s new technical advisor, jumping, which includes acting as chef d’equipe for the Canadian show jumping team.
Equestrian Canada, the national federation for equestrian sport, undertook a review of the jumping high performance program following the Tokyo Olympic Games including the position of technical advisor, a role formerly held by Mark Laskin starting in 2012. A hiring panel consisting of former world champion Gail Greenough; EC manager of sport—jumping Karen Hendry-Ouellette; EC director of high performance James Hood; Own the Podium’s Chris Lindsay; 10-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar; and EC Jumping Committee chair Karen Sparks, created the job description, reviewed all applications, and conducted interviews. At the conclusion, Lamaze was given the position.
“I am excited to help lead the Canadian Show Jumping Team to future success in a new capacity,” said Lamaze, 53, who said in a press release that he is cutting back on his own competitive agenda to give the Canadian team his full attention. “It’s an honour to be named to this position and not one that I take lightly. I look forward to building on the foundation that Mark Laskin laid and am committed to the success of our athletes, both nationally and internationally. I have a strong vision for the sport in Canada and will not stop until we reach perfection.”
As Canada’s most decorated equestrian athlete, Lamaze holds gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals; an individual bronze medal from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games; and four Pan American Games medals including team gold. He has won major grand prix events such as Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta (2007 and 2011); Geneva, Switzerland (2008); Aachen, Germany (2010); La Baule, France (2011); and Rome (2011), and he reached No. 1 in the world rankings several times over the course of his career. In 2021, Lamaze was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and was awarded the Order of Sport, the highest accolade an athlete can receive from their country.
“I would like to thank Equestrian Canada and the hiring panel for putting their trust in me,” said Lamaze, who is based in Wellington, Florida, and Brussels, Belgium. “Fifteen years ago, I made the decision to base myself in Europe where I had the opportunity to compete against the best in the world, week in and week out, and learned through experience what it takes to win at the highest level. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise with my fellow Canadian athletes and guide us back to where we belong, which is at the top of the podium.”
Lamaze’s first opportunity to act as chef d’equipe of the Canadian show jumping team will be during the Winter Equestrian Festival CSIO4*, March 2-6, in Wellington, highlighted by the $150,000 Nations’ Cup on March 5. Supported by the EC High Performance Jumping Committee, Lamaze will lead Canada in all team competitions, including the upcoming FEI World Championships scheduled for August in Herning, Denmark.
“We are thrilled to welcome Eric to the position and are fortunate that he felt the timing was right to take on this challenge,” Sparks said. “We are confident that he can build the national program and podium pathways and be the leader the team needs to be successful on the world stage.”
In November, Lamaze announced that Beth Underhill had joined his Torrey Pine Stable, and she would be taking over the ride on his top horses at the start of WEF so he could focus on his health. Lamaze has been undergoing treatment for a brain tumor since 2017.