November 9, 2011
Replacing Hickstead a challenge
By BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Eric Lamaze would love to compete at the 2012 Olympics.
Without Hickstead, he’s uncertain that can happen.
“I’ve thought about it (retirement). I’m No. 1 in the world. What do you want me to do? I’ve done it. Hickstead got me there. He made my career,” Lamaze said Wednesday, at an emotional news conference.
Lamaze said he will take a few days to consider his future. But there isn’t a lot of time. His ownership group must have a new horse by Dec. 31 to make it eligible for the Olympics.
“It’s not easy to find a horse the calibre of Hickstead,” said Lamaze. “We’ve got some wonderful horses ... but to compete at the level that we do ... you need one superstar.”
Right now they have not got either the superstar, or the money together, to get one.
“I can’t do all this myself. You need people to believe in you. As you know, the sport of show jumping is not cheap. You need great financial backing,” said Lamaze.
“There will not be another Hickstead. But we’ll try to find another horse that will suit me well and can help Canada at the Olympics games.”
But, if a competitive mount is unavailable, walking away isn’t out of the question.