Eric Lamaze has pegged the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Fine Lady 5 as his leading hope for the Rio de Janeiro Games this summer. Just don’t expect to see them in too many Grand Prix this summer.

“You’ll never get this answer coming into an Olympic year, [but my plan with Fine Lady 5 is to] mostly do classes that are somewhat below 1.50m—as many Jump Off and Table A Speed as we can do. That is what she does best,” says Lamaze.

“Every time I did that with her then asked her to do a big class, she always did it easily, so I’m not going to change my plan. [After this weekend] you may not see her in a Grand Prix here [at Spruce Meadows] or before the Olympics.”

It’s a proven, if unorthodox, approach. Never pegged to be his 1.60m horse, Lamaze rode the chestnut mare to third place finishes in the CSI5* 1.55m Credit Suisse Grand Prix and the 1.60m Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva, Switzerland last fall. She jumped double clear in both.

“The only reason I rode her in the Grand Prix [in Geneva] was because Powerplay wasn’t feeling well. I thought she’d be in over her head but she jumped that very easily. She was coming off doing a lot of speed classes, some major speed classes, some big enough fences,” says the 2008 Olympic gold medalist.

“She doesn’t have all the power in the world. She’s not a power jumper. You have to build it into her.”

Some might ask, why point such a horse at the Games?

“Because I feel that she can do it that particular week. I think she can do it well. But the way to get there is going to be a little bit unusual compared to other horses,” says Lamaze.

“I don’t know if I have the horse to go all the way individually. But I can for sure be helpful to the team in Rio.”