Showjumper Eric Lamaze has his sights set on London and has two horses he hopes will take him there, after the sudden death of Olympic champion Hickstead (pictured) last year.
The Canadian rider bought seven new horses and registered five of them in Canadian ownership last December, signaling they were on his Olympic long list.
Now he has narrowed this choice down to two – 10-year-old grey Heartbreaker-son Verdi, and Derly Chin de Muze, a nine-year-old Belgian warmblood mare by For Pleasure, Eric told Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.
Dutch warmblood Verdi was previously ridden by Stephanie van den Brink of the Netherlands and Eric said he is still learning how to get the best from him.
“You’re not going to change a horse like that,” he said. “It’s about me getting to know his rhythm, his stride; what to do on show day and how much work to do before.”
And Derhy, on whom he rode two clears at the FEI Nation’s Cup in Florida, is “a very green horse that had a lot of mileage put on her in a short time,” Eric told the paper.
Eric lost Hickstead suddenly at Verona last November.
The 15-year-old stallion died from an “acute aortic rupture”as he left the ring after taking part in the fourth round of the World Cup.