Canada's Eric Lamaze jumping at Beijing chance

Tue Jan 8, 2008 7:33pm EST
 
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By Scott Anderson

TORONTO (Reuters) - After missing the 1996 and 2000 Olympics over failed drug tests, Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze believes he is finally heading for his Olympic debut in Beijing.

Not bad for a 39-year-old who was once banned from equestrianism for life.

"It would be great," Lamaze told Reuters. "Being on any Canadian team is fantastic. We had a very strong Pan American (Games) team and I think we can put together a very strong Olympic team."

It seems the Montreal native is peaking at the right time for inclusion in the team. He amassed more than $1 million in prize money last year, some $600,000 of which was with his horse Hickstead, his targeted Olympic partner.

His recent successes have prompted many to suggest Lamaze could put the Canadian team in a competitive position in Beijing in August, as well as possibly take a medal in the individual events.

"He's having a top-of-the-line year. A fabulous year. He's an extremely talented rider. He has got the experience. He has got the drive and he has got the backing and has the horsepower," fellow rider Ian Millar, who has represented Canada in every Olympics since 1972 except for the Moscow boycott in 1980, said last year.

"The stars are all lined up for him and we all wish him success."

CAREER CRASHING   Continued...

 
<p>Canada's Eric Lamaze and his horse Hickstead jump a set of rails during the CN International show jumping competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alberta, in this September 9, 2007 file photo. It seems the Montreal native is peaking at the right time for inclusion in the team. He amassed more than $1 million in prize money last year, some $600,000 of which was with Hickstead, his targeted Olympic partner. His recent successes have prompted many to suggest Lamaze could put the Canadian team in a competitive position in Beijing in August, as well as possibly take a medal in the individual events. REUTERS/Todd Korol/Files</p>