Paris, France – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze coached two students to victory at the Paris Masters held November 30 to December 3 in France. Canada’s Kara Chad won the €24,600 CSI2* Land Rover Grand Prix while 12-year-old Ansgar Holtgers Jr. claimed victory in the one-star division representing the United States.
In the climax of the two-star division, Chad faced off against 57 other competitors in the €24,600 CSI2* 1.45m Land Rover Grand Prix on Sunday, December 3. Riding Carona, a ten-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare (Untouchable x Silverstone) owned by Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable, Chad posted one of ten clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. There, she once again jumped clear, racing through the timers in 40.07 to easily take the win over Belgium’s Celine Schoonbroodt de Azevedo, who stopped the clock in 41.73 seconds riding Cheppetta.
“It was great for Kara to end her year with a big win,” said Lamaze of the 21-year-old hailing from Calgary, AB. “It was a very strong field in the two-star division; definitely not your average two-star class! Carona is an exceptional mare with incredible talent, and Kara has done a fantastic job with her. Kara has worked hard all year with her horses, and has improved every horse she has taken on. She is an incredible worker, always gives a great effort, and is great at making up horses.”
Chad, who was the traveling alternate for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and Carona also placed fourth in Saturday’s €24,600 CSI2* Le Figaro, held as a one-round speed class.
Despite being Lamaze’s youngest student, Holtgers Jr.’s confidence and skill belied his age. Competing aboard two horses that he had never ridden before the Paris Masters, the 12-year-old posted strong results straight out of the gate, winning the first class of the CSI1* 1.15m division aboard Hookjipa XXX on Thursday, November 30.
On Friday, Holtgers Jr. settled for second riding Emember in the one-round speed class. The CSI1* 1.15m division culminated in the Hyatt Grand Prix on Saturday, where Holtgers Jr. and Emember, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, jumped double clear to place third overall.
“Ansgar shows a lot of natural talent, especially considering he was riding two horses he had never ridden before,” commented Lamaze, 49. “He has a good head on his shoulders, and shows a lot of promise for the future. He is a very competitive rider!
“I’m super excited about everyone’s results in Paris,” continued Lamaze, who was also coaching Spencer Smith, 21, of the United States at the event. “It was great for them to close out the year with such strong performances at a very competitive show. The Paris Masters also has a great atmosphere, with crowds filling the stands every night. We had a fun weekend!”
Not to be outdone by his students, Lamaze placed fourth in Friday’s €24,600 CSI5* 1.50m class after having the final fence down in the jump-off riding Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old bay Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable.
Lamaze now heads to Switzerland for his final event of the year at CHI Geneva, running December 7 to 10. On Saturday night, Lamaze will defend his title in the innovative Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final, which offers 475,000 Swiss francs in prize money to the top ten ranked riders in the world, as well as contest the Rolex Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Sunday, December 10. In addition to his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, Lamaze will compete in Geneva with Chacco Kid and Coco Bongo, his 2015 Pan American Games team gold medal mount.
For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.EricLamaze.com.