Bronze for Lamaze

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 earn a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Courtesy Canadian Olympic Team.

A wee brown mare wowed the world when she carried Canada’s most decorated Olympian equestrian to an Olympic bronze medal at Rio 2016.

Her name is Fine Lady 5, and she came into the Olympics with low expectations and under the shadow of Lamaze’s most famous mount, the tragic Hickstead.

She wasn’t even supposed to be there. Originally purchased as a speed horse, Lamaze is quick to praise the 15.3hh beauty. “She just became like this and grew into it,” said Lamaze. “I’m amazed at what she can do.”

She was the only horse to do five clean rounds in regulation. In the final, five other riders posted two clean rounds, sending the pair into a jump-off. The first competitor on the course was Great Britain’s Nick Skelton, who got another faultless ride from Big Star, and did so in 42.82 seconds.

“Nick was very quick and forced all of the riders to go at a speed,” said Lamaze. “I knew that even if I was unlucky and we had a fence down, I knew there was still a spot open if we were fast with a fault for a medal.”

And that’s exactly what happened. In the biggest competition of her career, Fine Lady 5 finally had her first miss. But by covering the course in 42.09, it put them on the podium.

Congratulations to Eric Lamaze, the Canadian Equestrian Olympic team and Canada’s newest celebrity, the wee brown mare herself, Fine Lady 5.