Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

BRUSSELS — Canada’s most decorated show jumper won’t compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

Eric Lamaze, owner of Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals, has withdrawn from Equestrian Canada’s short list for the Summer Games.

Three years of treatment for a brain tumour, the global COVID-19 situation and the inability of Canada to send a full show jumping team to Tokyo factored into his decision.

“My health is something that I take very seriously, and I’ve decided that Tokyo is not the best venue for me,” Lamaze said Monday in a statement.

“While my health is stable at the moment, there are several risk factors that have to be taken into consideration.”

Canada won’t compete in the team event in Tokyo and will send just one horse-and-rider combination.

Lamaze was among five athletes Equestrian Canada announced for its short list.

The 53-year-old from Montreal won individual gold and team silver in 2008 in Beijing aboard Hickstead, and an individual bronze in 2016 in Rio with Fine Lady.

Lamaze and Hickstead were inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.

Lamaze, who lives in Brussels, Belgium, feels the world remains in a precarious position because of the pandemic. Equestrian events are only now starting to return to the European calendar.

“With all that we’ve lived through this past year, and what we are still seeing with so many people living through horrible situations both in Canada and around the world, I’m not sure I would even feel right winning a medal,” Lamaze said in his statement.

“The Olympics are a celebration of the athletes and I don’t think we’re going to have a true celebration in Tokyo. It’s not the time to celebrate.”

Canada can’t send a show jumping team to Tokyo because it was stripped of its fourth-place finish at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Nicole Walker tested positive for a cocaine metabolite. She said she inadvertently ingested the substance drinking coca tea, which is a common drink in Peru.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed Walker didn’t intentionally take a banned substance, but said it didn’t have the authority to overturn the Pan Am disciplinary commission’s decision that dropped Canada out of the fourth and final Pan Am qualification berth for Tokyo.

Lamaze’s withdrawal leaves Amy Millar of Perth, Ont., Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, B.C., Mario Deslauriers of New York and Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, Ont., as Equestrian Canada’s Olympic candidates.

Lamaze, Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone won a team silver medal in Beijing in 2008.

Lamaze, Foster, Amy Millar and Yann Candele lost a jump-off with Germany for the bronze medal in Rio.

“I’ve always associated the Olympics with riding for the Canadian team,” Lamaze said. “My success has been due to having my teammates there to pull together to be the best that we can be for our country.

“Having my owners there, my friends and fellow teammates, and all the fans is what makes the Olympics special for me. When you come into the stadium, and hear the fans screaming and see the Canadian flags waving, it raises you up to another level.

“As a solo act, I cannot see myself finding the motivation to dig deep enough to pull off an individual medal. I cannot be a true competitor without my team.”

Lamaze intends to compete in the 2022 world championship in Denmark, where Canada could qualify a team for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

The owners of several of his horses, including Dieu Merci van T & L, support his decision to withdraw from the Olympics, he said.

“I thank Mark and Tara Rein for their complete understanding of the situation and for their ongoing support,” said Lamaze.

“With this difficult decision made, we can now concentrate on continuing to develop the fantastic young horses that we have in our training program.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Equestrian

Just Posted

CMHA
Mental health support centre in central Alberta to receive funding

Shoppers Drug Mart is lending support to the Canadian Mental Health Association.… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer was packed with people who lined the streets to watch the Westerner Days parade on Wednesday. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Westerner Days parade cancelled, full details on modified event coming June 28

The 2021 edition of Westerner Days will look much different than any… Continue reading

City council wants to hear from the public at a May 25 hearing about whether the temporary homeless shelter should be allowed to remain in the downtown for another year. (Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer staff to recommend another extension to allow operations at current temporary shelter site

Following some more research city administration has received no other new locations… Continue reading

A scene from the short Western ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws,’ written and directed by Jason Steele, with support from Telus Storyhive. (Contributed image)
Red Deerians make ‘Cheaters, Robbers and Outlaws’ short Western film

Writer and director Jason Steele received a $20,000 Storyhive grant from Telus

Residents in several neighbourhoods reported little to no water pressure Tuesday night. (File photo by Advocate staff)
City hall to reopen for payments and customer service

Red Deer City Hall will reopen on June 21 for utility and… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: You can’t trust Mondays

Monday isn’t my favourite day. It insists on occurring right after a… Continue reading

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price stops Vegas Golden Knights' William Karlsson as he is covered by Canadiens' Joel Edmundson during first period of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal Friday, June 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Andreson’s timely scoring, Price’s goaltending give Habs 2-1 series lead over Vegas

Canadiens 3 Golden Knights 2 (OT) (Montreal leads series 2-1) MONTREAL —… Continue reading

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) as he looks for an opening during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Curry, Harris help 76ers stay alive, hold off Hawks 104-99

76ers 104 Hawks 99 (Series tied 3-3) ATLANTA — Seth Curry hit… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise of a two-dose fall is… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, speaks during a press conference in Ottawa, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Mendicino has announced a new policy to help settle 500 refugees and their families in a news conference today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year: Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced plans to expedite applications and increase the… Continue reading

Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa, plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Friday, June 18, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Bland leads at Torrey and shows the US Open is truly open

SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Open prides itself on being the most… Continue reading

The Prime Minister's car waits outside the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg Tuesday, May 19, 2009. The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is showing no sign he'll release unredacted documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada's highest security laboratory — despite the prospect of being publicly shamed in the House of Commons for his refusal to turn them over. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
PHAC head maintains he’s bound by law not to release docs on fired scientists

OTTAWA — The head of the Public Health Agency of Canada is… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant in Canada

OTTAWA — The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly… Continue reading

Most Read