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Equestrian rider Eric Lamaze rides "Deryl Chin deMuze" in an exercise arena at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Equestrian rider Eric Lamaze rides "Deryl Chin deMuze" in an exercise arena at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (Jeff McIntosh/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

London 2012

Olympic champ Lamaze and veteran Millar lead show jumpers into London Add to ...

Olympic champion Eric Lamaze will lead the five-athlete Canadian show jumping team at the London Games this summer.

Lamaze and his student Tiffany Foster, both from Schomberg, Ont., were nominated Friday along with Yann Candele of Caledon, Ont., Ottawa native Jill Henselwood and Ian Millar of Perth, Ont.

Lamaze became the first Canadian equestrian athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal. He finished first at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Lamaze is in the unique position of being nominated with two horses, Derly Chin de Muze and Verdi. Both horses are new to Lamaze, having been acquired in December 2011 following the death of his Olympic championship partner, Hickstead, a month earlier.

The final decision on which horse Lamaze will ride will be made by July 4.

“Both horses are young, but I really like them both,” Lamaze said in a release. “I think I can definitely help the Canadian team be in contention and hopefully win a medal. Individually, I am dealing with younger horses and anything can happen. I do feel like I could have successfully defended the gold medal with Hickstead, but these are both great horses and anything is possible.

“For sure this year is important with the Olympics, but the most important thing is that both of these horses have big futures in front of them and are going to go on to have incredible careers.”

Lamaze also helped Canada claim the team silver medal in Beijing, only the second Olympic team medal in its history.

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