Thursday, August 21, 2008

Golden Horseshoes: Larry Rumsby's Shoes Were "Lamazing" for Canada in Hong Kong

Two Olympics Golden Guys: Rob Renirie, left, shod the individual dressage gold medal winner, Salinero, for Anky Van Grunsven of Holland. Today we learned that Larry Rumsby's shoes on Hickstead helped Canadian Eric LaMaze win the jump-off for the individual show jumping gold medal. Larry and Rob met in Sydney when both were shoeing for their countries at the 2000 Olympics and have been friends ever since.

The champagne corks are popping in Bromont, Quebec tonight. We can only imagine what they are saying around the table since they are speaking French...and very rapid French, at that!

Tonight's jump off for the Olympic gold medal in show jumping was one of the most exciting climaxes of a sporting event series I can remember. There was none of the tragedy of Athens, when so many horses were injured.

Yes, there was a bit of a scandal, as four riders were disqualified (including the leader going into today's final) for the topical ingredient capsaicin, or hot pepper essence, which was believed to have been applied as part of a liniment.

Before long, the strains of "Oh, Canada" came through the speakers, as Eric LaMaze stood on the highest block and grasped his gold medal for his amazing clear jumpoff round riding Hickstead.

The footing in Hong Kong has been amazing, but there is no doubt in my mind that there was still an element in Hickstead's torque-y turns and brave gallop at the final jump that proved how confident that horse was on his feet. Light on his feet, the announcer would say, but we know that what matters is how the horse gets in that fourth stride in the combination and how he lands and turns at the same time, knowing that he wouldn't slip.

Eric LaMaze pointed over and over to the horse after he crossed the line, as the crowd went wild with applause. My guess is that Hickstead, in turn, would point to his feet, again and again, and to the farrier who made the shoes that helped the horse that cleared the jumps that won the medal for Canada!

If you don't know Larry, make it a point to. He lives in the very horsey ski village of Bromont, very close to the Vermont border and can often be found in Wellington, Florida in the winter with his clients. Larry's wife Louise Mongeau owns the Marechalerie Bromont farrier supply store in Bromont. I'm not sure if they live in a nice world or that they make it that way. Perhaps it is both.

Today the spotlight is on Larry and the celebration should be one to remember!

The entrance to Marechalerie Bromont is a mounting block turned flower box, topped with a farrieresque sculpture. Larry Rumsby is no stranger to the Olympics; the equestrian events for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal were hosted in Bromont. Larry's family has been there for generations, on the same farm...on Rumsby Road.

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