“Always when you win one class, you get motivated for the next one. I feel today that was my day.”
That was Santiago Lambre after winning both FEI classes at Major League Show Jumping Caledon in Ontario on Friday.
The Brazilian come Mexican come recently reinstated Brazilian rider topped a field of 31 to win the $37,000 Champion Shavings Grand Prix qualifier CSI2* with 13-year-old KWPN gelding Dingeman. He then bested a field of 24 to capture the $75,000 Cabana Coast 1.50m CSI5* with Easy Girl that same afternoon.
And the clear rounds just kept on coming.
On Saturday, Lambre helped Otomi Warriors to their first ever podium finish, posting a pair of clear rounds aboard the 10-year-old Westphalian mare Comtess 202. Their performance helped secure the bronze medal.
The pair repeated their fault-free ways on Sunday, jumping double clear again in the $75,000 Case IH Winning Round to finish second behind Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen by fewer than two tenths of a second. (Vanderveen crossed the timers in 45.97 seconds to Lambre’s 46.16.)
That same afternoon, the 46-year-old rider did one better, winning Sunday’s feature event, the $217,000 MLSJ BFL Canada Grand Prix—and the biggest class of his career—with Easy Girl.
“It’s my first five star [Grand Prix win] in my career. I was maybe ten times second,” smiled Lambre.
It’s a career high shared by his deceptively named mount. Competitive but still green, according to Lambre, the 10-year-old OS mare won 2* and 3* classes earlier this year in Wellington. Caledon marked her second ever 5*.
“Easy Girl is not that easy,” said Lambre. “She’s very, very spooky. Not in the jumps but with everything [around her] and very fresh all the time. But the last two months she improved a lot jumping in the 5* [classes] and I think it will be a good horse for next year.
“The idea is to keep her for the sport.”
More specifically, to keep her for his home nation. Lambre recently reclaimed his Brazilian citizen status, competing under the green and yellow flag for the first time in two decades at MLSJ Traverse City III for the Otomi Warriors.
“I decided to change for Brazil after 21 years riding for Mexico. My brother [Rodrigo] is on the Brazilian team, so I would like to jump some Nations Cup together with him. And I’m very excited now for the last years of my career trying to do something for my country.”
It was a decision motivated by both familial ties and personal frustration.
“I always [planned] to come back [to Brazilian citizenship] one day and I think it was the right moment. After I was not selected for the Olympics this year [for Mexico]—I think I had good chances, I have a good horse and some political things were difficult for me—then I decided to change.”
Hearing the Brazilian anthem play three days in a row this week at Caledon has only strengthened his resolve.
“Last week, I have maybe ten rounds with one down, but the horses I felt are jumping good and I came here motivated. The sport is like this. You have to keep going and the results will come.”