Original title : Mario Deslauriers – Lifelong passion
Mario Deslauriers, Bromont’s favourite son, became the youngest rider in history to win the world cup show jumping final—a record that still stands—at age 19! He then represented Canada at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. Now in his fifties, he remains a passionate participant on the international riding circuit, having participated in 100 world cup qualifying events throughout his career.
Deslauriers has another reason for staying in top form: his daughter, Lucy, has entered the world of international show jumping and they sometimes compete against each other. “It’s an amazing feeling, especially because it happens so rarely,” he notes. For those unfamiliar with equestrian sports, each event has only one category for both men and women.
Deslauriers, whose father, Roger, was instrumental in getting the town of Bromont to host the equestrian events for the 1976 Olympic Games, now lives in New York City, in addition to owning a farm in the Hamptons. However, he still enjoys the privilege of sporting the maple leaf while Lucy, age 19, wears the red, white and blue for the United States. “If she can qualify for the next Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, then anything is possible. And if I qualify as well, I could ride in the Olympics again.” In 2018, both father and daughter performed well at the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona. “It was exciting. She has a good head on her shoulders, works really hard, and is competitive.”
Mario Deslauriers began riding at the age of 5. His wife also used to be an international-calibre rider, and his son, Jack, is the chief organizer of all their global travel, and is thrilled for his family’s success: “I was spoiled as a child because my father developed the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, and I still am, as my wife and children are spurred by the same drive and passion.” Although Mario Deslauriers lives among our neighbours to the south, he has never forgotten his roots. “My childhood in Bromont was the best ever. I played hockey, skied, and competed at horse shows. Every summer when we go back for the International Bromont, we are impressed by the city’s quality of life and the great restaurants.”
A big fan of former basketball player Michael Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods, Deslauriers also loves hitting the links. He plays several rounds a week, and makes sure to schedule some golf time whenever he travels for show jumping competitions. Of course, Bromont is also known for its golf courses! “This is where my dreams began. How could I ever forget it?”