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Olympic Teams – Part Seven; Canada with reigning Olympic champion Lamaze on the team

Thursday, 02 August 2012

The Canadian team: Tiffany Foster, Jill Henselwood, Eric Lamaze, Ian Millar and reserve rider Yann Candele. Photo by © 2012 Ken Braddick/’s showjumping team had a great Olympics in 2008, and really has something to live up to in London with an individual gold and team silver from Hong Kong to defend. Reigning Olympic champion Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster, Ian Millar and Jill Henselwood are the riders that will fly the Canadian flag at Greenwich Park.

Eric Lamaze – born on 17th of April 1968 – won the individual gold in Hong Kong with the late Hickstead that very sadly passed away in November last year. In London Lamaze will partner up with Derly Chin de Muze, a 9 year old Belgian bred mare from the stud of Joris de Brabander by For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve. Derly Chin is owned by Ashland Stables and Torry Pines Stables. “I don’t feel like I’m defending my title because Hickstead is not here,” Lamaze said at Canada’s press briefing. “My horse is lacking some experience, but has quality to go to the very end. She definitely has the quality to leave the rails up, but she lacks mileage. We tried to give her that mileage though, and I feel very good," Eric said.

Tiffany Foster is 28 years old, and is a student of Eric Lamaze. In 2008, she broke her back while schooling a young horse and her career was in real danger as the doctors feared she could never walk again. “I was injured before Beijing, but was there to watch Eric win. But here I am! My accident in 2008 happened when I was schooling a horse at home over some small fences. The horse took a bad step, did a somersault and I broke my back.” Fighting her way back has brought Tiffany to London, and she will ride Victor, a 10 year old KWPN gelding by Elmshorn owned by Torrey Pine Stables and Artisan Farms.

Ian Millar is nicknamed Captain Canada, and with reason; this will be the 10th Olympics for the 65 year old. Ian was also on the Canadian silver team in Hong Kong with In Style. Millar was given the Order of Canada in 1986 in recognition of his contribution to international sport and the help he gives young riders, and in 1996 both he and his legend of a horse Big Ben were inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. “The whole thing is such an interesting journey. What I notice the most is the evolution of the sport; it’s not the same sport as it was in 1972 [Millar's first Olympic Games]. There are different kind of horses, and styles of riding. It’s an interesting challenge to stay with that change, and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of moving with it. I work with my son and daughter, and they keep me young,” Millar said. Ian will ride Star Power, an 11 year old gelding by Quick Star owned by Team Works who he also rode at the Pan American Games last year. “Star Power is a fantastic horse,” said Millar who added that if the horse was willing “I’m willing” about the Olympics in Rio in four years.

Jill Henselwood will be 50 later this year, and she was also on the silver winning team in Hong Kong with Special Ed. This time around she will ride George, who she also competed at the Pan American Games last year. George is a 10 year old gelding by Garant, owned by Brian Gingras.

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