Olympic Games 2008, Hong Kong (Beijing Games) August 2008, Eric Lamaze (CAN) riding Hickstead, team jumping final
Olympic Games 2008, Hong Kong (Beijing Games) August 2008, Eric Lamaze (CAN) riding Hickstead, team jumping final

In an exclusive interview with RMC Sport for their Horse Series magazine, an emotional Eric Lamaze paid tribute to his stallion of a lifetime, Hickstead, and talked of his own personal challenges after being diagnosed 18 months ago with the inoperable brain tumour that's destroying his body. During the course of the interview, and with an ever-optimistic smile, he said "It has taken me a long time to be capable of discussing this with friends close to me. I didn't know how to talk to them. Already, I go to bed very early, but I'm trying to continue riding. I've taken the decision to continue riding until the day comes that I can no longer do it. When my body says 'no'."  Lamaze went on to talk movingly about his great Hickstead, the horse that no one wanted because of his stormy character, and who died under his saddle in Verona, Italy, in 2011. "The day after this tragedy I realized what this little horse represented for the whole world. It took me years to recover, especially because of the way it happened. But he left this world a super hero because, even though he was suffering a heart attack, he

was careful where I was when he fell. It was incredible." Like Hickstead's career, which deserves the greatest respect, many riders have also been paying tribute to Lamaze's own courage and grace in the face of an insurmountable obstacle, but he says it's a battle he's determined not to abandon.

Link to interview, in French