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Olympic gold medallist makes winning return at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival

After four months on the sidelines, Eric Lamaze (CAN) and his great partner Chacco Kid made a winning return to the ring in the opening class of international jumper competition at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

As competition began at the Wellington Regional Medical Center CSI3* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), Lamaze and the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding scored their first victory of the season in fine style in the $6,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers on Wednesday, January 13.

The pair executed the two-round course flawlessly, stopping the timers at 26.97 seconds.

“It was a nice opening course,” said Lamaze of the track designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen Jr. (ECU). “It’s the first class of the week, two-phase [power and speed]. If you don’t go clear in the first phase, it’s a short course. Chacco is naturally fast, so for the speed part my strategy was just to shorten the turn and try to keep the same rhythm, and it was good enough for this class.”

First to go in the order, Laura Kraut (USA) and Goldwin owned by Stars and Stripes, held the lead for most of the class after putting forth a clear effort in a time of 27.55 seconds.  Rounding out the top three was Lillie Keenan (USA) aboard Cazaan owned by Chansonette Farm, LLC, who crossed the finish line in 27.80 seconds.

The day marked nearly four months since Eric Lamaze has jumped in international competition and he was happy to be back in the ring at the Winter Equestrian Festival with Chacco Kid, who is owned by the Chacco Kid Group.

Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid

“The horses are fresh. They’ve been resting for a long time, so I feel very good about all my horses at the moment,” said the 2008 Olympic individual gold medalist. “They feel like they got a year younger with a year off [due to the COVID-19 pandemic]. We didn’t do any pre-circuit shows even though we’ve been here for quite a while. We jumped a little bit at home because [this] summer we really didn’t do much with them. It was not necessary. I chose to just stay home and start WEF when the FEI classes start.”

Lamaze will continue to campaign throughout the Winter Equestrian Festival and hopes to find himself atop the podium once again.

“I have enough horses with a great string that I think I can swap them enough to be competitive in all the Grand Prix [classes] and try my best,” he said.

Competition continues on Thursday with the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 1 and championships for the professional hunters. Friday features the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic followed by Saturday night under the lights with the $137,000 Wellington Regional Medical Center Grand Prix CSI3*.

Final Results: $6,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers

1 CHACCO KID: 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Come On ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Chacco Kid Group: 0/26.97

2 GOLDWIN: 2012 BWP gelding by Emrald x Divine Idylle GTW De Tinmont LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars and Stripes: 0/27.55

3 CAZAAN: 2012 Holsteiner stallion by Casall x Zamira M Iii LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm, LLC: 0/27.80

4 EXCELLENT: 2009 KWPN gelding by Cicero Zvan Paemel x Ahorn PETER LUTZ (USA), Bosch Sport Horses: 0/28.01

5 CON PLEASURE 5: 2009 Westphalian gelding by Contendro 1 x Funny Fasion FLO NORRIS (GBR), Cisca Norris: 0/28.35

6 UNE DE L’OTHAIN: 2008 Selle Français mare by Conterno Grande x Cento HARRIE SMOLDERS (NED), Evergate Stables, LLC: 0/28.41

7 VARGAS ROUGE: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Manillon Rouge x Fantaisie Creole KIMBERLY PRINCE (USA), Kimberly Prince: 0/28.72

8 VITI DE LONGA: 2009 Selle Français mare by Contendro l x Babeth Desmulottes LACEY GILBERTSON (USA), Seabrook, LLC: 0/28.91

9 HILFIGER VAN DE OLMENHOEVE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Dulf vanden Bisschop x Querlybet Hero EMILY MOFFITT (GBR), Poden Farms: 0/30.93

10 EXOTIK SITTE: 2010 BWP gelding by Ogano Sitte x Ustina Sitte COCO FATH (USA), Hillside Farm, LLC: 0/31.72

11 VITTORIO 12: 2011 Hannovarian gelding by Van Hesling x Clarissa H CAPTAIN BRIAN COURNANE (IRL), Captain Brian Cournane and Glenbeigh Farm 0/32.85

12 CASTLEFIELD DREAM: 2011 Hanoverian gelding by Clinton I x Cero CAPTAIN BRIAN COURNANE (IRL), Glenbeigh Farm, LLC: 0/33.18

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