“I didn’t get up this morning thinking this was possible,” said an emotional Eric Lamaze after his RBC Grand Prix win with Chacco Kid at Spruce Meadows on Saturday.

The Olympic champion from Beijing 2008 recently revealed that he was battling a brain tumour. “It shows what a good horse can do for you,” the Canadian rider said.

“When you don’t have the fight in you, they fight for you. It’s one of the victories I will cherish forever. This is an ongoing battle for me and today is a gift.”

Lamaze, who is 51, remembered his previous win in this event in 2010 riding Hickstead. “He was looking out for me,” he said.

“The horses are a big part of why I am here today. I don’t know what level I will continue riding at as the year goes on but I know horses will always be a part of my life. I want to keep riding and I will keep fighting every day to do this. The horse is the greatest therapy you can have.”

Lamaze knocked Irish rider Conor Swail and Koss van Heiste off the lead in the jump-off, with Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Alfuehren’s Bianca subsequently taking second.

Mike Dunne