Artisan Farms has purchased two new grand prix mounts for Canadian Olympian Eric Lamaze, as well as one for Tiffany Foster, who represented Canada in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Lamaze will take over the ride on Powerplay, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Casall—Limbus), from Swiss rider Pius Schwizer. He will also begin riding Quelmec du Gery, a 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Pamphile—Jasper), who was previously owned by rider Penelope Leprevost and Francois Mathy of Belgium.
“I took a break from the sport a bit last year after the Olympics, which I needed to do, and in the process of that, spoke to Carlene and Andy [Ziegler, owners of Artisan Farms] about getting some quality young horses so that I could come back in the future with a string of horses that I made up,” said Lamaze, 45, of Schomberg, Ontario, who has been bringing along young horses Big Smile, Rosana du Park and Check Picobello Z as well.
“These two horses complete the creation of a new string for Eric,” said Andy. “After taking a break from the sport last fall, Eric sought to start over with new horses, focusing on younger horses that he can bring along himself. We wanted to support him in that. Our hope is that this new string will allow Eric to be right back at the top of the sport.”
While Carlene was watching the CSI***** in Madrid, she spotted Quelmec du Gery.
“Carlene came back from Madrid and told me that Penelope had a new horse that was adorable,” said Lamaze, who was preparing to compete in Kentucky at the time. “When I got back to Europe, I called Francois Mathy and told him that I was looking for a horse like Quelmec du Gery. We confirmed that it would be a great horse for me. After watching the video from Madrid, I was sold before I even tried it. After riding the horse, I fell in love. He’s very small but has lots of blood and is extremely careful. He’s my kind of horse!”
As for Powerplay, Lamaze said, “We went to try Verdi III for Tiffany, and we stumbled onto Powerplay. He is a proven 1.60-meter horse and when I tried him, it was an immediate match.”
Lamaze noted that Gilbert de Roock brokered the purchases.
“Both horses are 9, but with one having more mileage than the other. Both horses come from fantastic riders, and it’s great to receive horses that have been so well trained by Penelope and Pius. It puts me in a fantastic position to come back in the sport with not only one, but two great horses. It’s changed my summer plan completely; I’m going from bringing along young horses to being back in the international division in full force with fantastic horses,” said Lamaze
Additionally, Foster will take over the ride on Schwizer’s top horse, Verdi III. Schwizer and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Hors La Loi II—Cantus) competed at the Rolex FEI World Cup Show Jumping Final (Sweden) this year.
“I am extremely grateful to be the recipient of this horse,” said Foster, 28. “Andy and I signed on for the Global Champions Tour this year and realized that if we wanted to continue competing at the top level, it would be helpful for me to have one more horse that was ready to go and jump big. In speaking to Gilbert, Verdi III came up as an option. We never dreamed that a horse of his quality would be available. He is extremely scopey and well-schooled and has all the experience we could hope for. I am ecstatic!”
In addition, Artisan Farms recently purchased Biker de Wemmel, a 6-year-old chestnut Belgian Sport Horse stallion (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Jus de Pomme) that Foster will campaign before Andy Ziegler eventually takes over the reins.
“We’ve supported Tiffany throughout her international career, and Verdi III comes in as one of the top horses in her string,” said Andy. “She’s been gaining mileage by putting together lots of clear rounds with her current horses, and Verdi III fits perfectly into her current string. We’re optimistic that together, they’ll have great success.”
Lamaze has coached Andy and Carlene’s daughter Caitlin for the past six years, while Foster has trained Andy for the past five.
“It’s been a great partnership between Eric and Tiffany and Caitlin, Carlene and I,” said Andy. “We’ve been together for several years now, and we’re really happy with the way the partnership works.”