Ottawa, ON, Sept. 4, 2019 – Equestrian Canada (EC) extends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mary Anne Laframboise of Ottawa, ON, who passed away on Aug. 31, 2019, at the age of 90 after a short illness caused by a stroke.
With an abundance of passion and determination, Laframboise worked tirelessly over many decades to raise the profile, standards and reputation of eventing in Canada.
Laframboise owned and operated Farm of the Mountain in Luskville, QC, for nearly 40 years, turning hundreds of idyllic acres nestled against Gatineau Park into an equestrian paradise for the National Capital Region. The hundreds of riders who passed through her program were introduced to the thrill of eventing under Laframboise’s watchful eye. Several of her students went on to successful careers as professional or national team athletes, including Rob Stevenson, who was the highest-placed Canadian at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games under Laframboise’s tutelage and currently acts as Chair of the EC Eventing High Performance Advisory Group.
Beyond the limits of Laframboise’s coaching operation, thousands more eventers enjoyed the opportunity to have fun, test themselves and compete against their peers at the sanctioned horse trials that the farm supported for 25 years. With her understanding of the sport’s inner workings and desire to see participation grow, Laframboise offered up to five divisions of competition at Farm of the Mountain horse shows, some of which attracted nearly 200 entries from across North America.
In addition to her roles as coach and competition organizer, Laframboise was also known for her skills as a stable manager. With a background in nursing, combined with the support of her physician husband, the late Dr. Guy Laframboise, she was expertly equipped to provide the horses in her custody with first-rate care and treatments using the latest advancements in medical technology.
But Laframboise didn’t limit her scope of influence to Farm of the Mountain: she shared her knowledge freely as an active member of numerous organizations, including the Quebec Horse Trials Association and historic Canadian Horse Council. Laframboise worked with EC (formerly known as the Canadian Equestrian Federation) for many years, including in the 1970s as Executive Director and as a strong supporter of the Canadian Equestrian Team. She brought her years of expertise to bear as the driving force behind the first national coaching program, helping to push Canadian equestrian sport even further towards its world-class reputation. In 2014, EC recognized Laframboise’s significant contributions and industrious efforts with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The impacts of Mary Anne’s work to grow Canadian eventing cannot be overstated,” said EC CEO, Richard Mongeau. “She was a guiding light for the sport, and her presence – particularly her boundless passion and infectious energy – will be terribly missed.”
Laframboise and her husband had eight children, who have carried on the strong tradition instilled in them by their passionate matriarch: Six of her seven daughters picked up eventing and made the EC Talent Squad, short or long list for the sport. Three went on to ride for Canada at the international level, including Moira Laframboise, who helped the Canadian Eventing Team bring home the silver medal from the 1987 Indianapolis Pan American Games. Lorraine Laframboise held up the coaching tradition as a Canadian Eventing Team Coach at both the national and Olympic level, while Estelle “Teddie” Laframboise carried on the stable manager and competition organizer genes through her own family-run eventing facility, Stevens Creek Farm in Ottawa, ON.
Laframboise is survived by her children Moira, Lorraine and Teddie, alongside their siblings, Deirdre Laframboise, Guy Laframboise, Julie Murphy, Lise O’Neill, and Nicole Laframboise. Her adoring family also includes 18 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, siblings, and many nieces and nephews.
With care and commitment, Laframboise cultivated the seedling sport of eventing to blossom into a flourishing, well-supported and sophisticated discipline in Canada. Her fiery dedication has left an everlasting mark on the national eventing landscape that will be felt for years to come.
Photo: Cealy Tetley