Lamaze and Hickstead named one of the top partnerships in Canadian sports history

Eric Lamaze and Hickstead in Geneva in 2008
Credit : Scoopdyga

Wednesday 03 January - 17h33 | Ian Clayton

Lamaze and Hickstead named one of the top partnerships in Canadian sports history

It is one of the greatest pairs in the history of Show Jumping — and Canadian sports as well.

 - Lamaze and Hickstead named one of the top partnerships in Canadian sports history

On Facebook, Eric Lamaze expressed his gratitude for the CBC's recognition.

Eric Lamaze and Hickstead were recently named the 7th greatest partnership in Canadian sports history as part of a program by CBC Television, the national public broadcaster in the country. 

Mixed in amongst hockey players, skiers, tennis players, track stars, rowers and more, the illustrious equestrian duo was ‘one-of-a-kind’, according to the hosts. “I told you,” one of them says about the unique human-horse partnership on the list, “these things were going to come in all shapes and sizes.”

The criteria used in compiling the list are explained at the start of the show: "It’s not just about the win-loss column or being best friends.” The ‘intangibles’ of a partnership — things like chemistry, trust and unspoken energy — were all taken into account.

And there was a ‘debate within a debate within a debate’ about whether ‘Captain Canada’ Ian Millar and Big Ben should have been the combination to make the Top Ten instead: “But the one thing they were missing that Lamaze and Hickstead had was Olympic gold.” Lamaze also won Team silver at the 2008 Games in China alongside Millar and their teammates.  

With Hickstead, Lamaze rose to be the number one-ranked rider on the planet, collecting millions of dollars in prize money and titles at Spruce Meadows and other top competition venues around the world. But the program’s creators also wanted to highlight Lamaze’s gratitude toward his superstar horse, showing a clip of him gesturing proudly to Hickstead after a victory: “See that gesture? Lamaze did that all the time. He knew where the credit was due, and he wanted to make sure the fans recognized it too.”

The program, which can be watched here, recounts how the pair’s partnership came to a tragic end in 2011 when Hickstead collapsed and died while competing. But even in that moment, the current World No.9 believes there was a complicity between the two. “I think he collapsed in a way he made sure he did not injure me in the process,” Lamaze is quoted as saying. His press conference at the time can be seen here

In the CBC list, the top sports partnership went to ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who among other things are Olympic gold and silver medalists and multiple World Champions. And the pair have had a lot of fun doing it, the hosts note. Photo below of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moire courtesy of their Facebook page. 

 - Lamaze and Hickstead named one of the top partnerships in Canadian sports history


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