Video: Lamaze takes career lead over Ward after win in Florida

Lamaze and Chesney
Credit : Sportfot

Friday 16 March - 16h00 | Ian Clayton and edited press release

Video: Lamaze takes career lead over Ward after win in Florida

28-27, for now. 

 - Video: Lamaze takes career lead over Ward after win in Florida

After his victory with 11-year-old gelding Chesney in Thursday’s $35,000 Challenge Cup at Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival, Canadian Eric Lamaze has taken the lead over fellow Olympic Champion McLain Ward in terms of total career wins in the Cup series.

As part of this Week 10 of the Festival, nine horse-and-rider combinations from the field of 85 entries in the Cup advanced to the tie-breaking jump-off on the course by designer Michel Vaillancourt. In the end, Lamaze and Chesney (Indoctro x Kannan) crossed the finish line with 0 faults and a time of 36.59 seconds, ahead of Amber Harte and Austria 2 in second and Georgina Bloomberg and Manodie II in third. Lamaze’s long-time teammate Ian Millar and Dixson were fourth. 

While Ward was not entered in this week’s Challenge Cup, there was still a strong field of competitors at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, which included Rodrigo Pessoa, Karen Polle, Tiffany Foster, Shane Sweetnam, Marilyn Little, Beezie Madden and Lillie Keenan.  

“I must say, today’s a big step up,” Lamaze said of Chesney, owned by Artisan Farms. “I didn’t have a WEF [Challenge Cup] planned for him on this circuit to be honest, but we’re coming down to the end. We have horses in Europe; we have Mexico next week and all of that, so some of them have to step up, and how great it is that he responded that way!”

“I really have respect for how careful he is,” he added. “I love careful horses, and he sure is a catty one that I think actually has quite a bit of jump in him. You don’t know – a few of these jump-offs, and their wings start sailing and before you know it – Fine Lady was the same thing. So I really believe in him. I think he’s a first-class horse.” A 12-week circuit, the WEF hosts hunter, jumper, and equitation competition until April 1 and offers more than $9 million in prize money. Video below from WEF/Artisan Farms. 

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