From the meeting room to the show ring: the return of Danielle Lambert


Danielle Lambert, dual Canadian and American citizen, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and grew up loving horses. Her parents moved to California when she was two and she started riding at age nine with trainer and former rodeo star Joe Lifto. “I spent my early years competing mostly on the West Coast, but spent summers growing up in rural British Columbia and had fun training ranch horses – until until the life of the show takes over!” she explained. “It was important to my parents that we know about Canada and our roots, and I’m very happy that they made it a priority.

Her brilliant junior career also took her to Europe, Mexico and Canada, including competing at Spruce Meadows. “My first horse was called Surprise. He was a giant, very sweet bay gelding,” she said. “My key horse growing up was a wonderful little thoroughbred named Sprint that I rode as a junior. He was small, but had a huge heart.

Later married to Tony Fadell, creator of the iPod and Nest, Danielle switched gears in 1998, putting riding on hold to work in the upper echelons of the tech world, eventually becoming vice president of human resources. at Apple until 2009. The couple had three children and busy lives, and moved to Paris in the summer of 2016, enjoying an 18-month stay in Bali from mid-2018 to early 2020. But when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Danielle decided in the spring of this unprecedented year that it was time to return to sport.

Now 46, Danielle has trained for the past two years with French Olympic rider Philippe Rozier, whom she describes as an “exceptional coach, mentor and friend. This year I trained with Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton. They taught me a lot and I continue to benefit from their vast knowledge as much as possible.

Danielle and Conrad Sunheup Z competing in Wellington. (Picture Sportfot)

While Danielle seems to have an affinity for the grays including “Cobalt de Nantuel (10) and Cissro Van Birthe Z (11) who started the 1.50, and Conrad Sunheup Z (12) who is a super-horse and runs in 1.45 level », his current best horse is Prestige Kalone, a magnificent Anglo-Arab bay stallion. “Unfortunately he got injured at the end of 2020 and had to take a year off. We got him back this winter and he feels good. I’m delighted to be back in the Grand Prix ring with him, hopefully in the upcoming shows.

Some young horses in her stable also stoked her. “We have a couple of eight-year-old mares whose future I am very excited about, Elfira des Salines and Erenbee du Chaflette, who are starting the 1.45s this year. We added nine-year-old Ienimieni and seven-year-old Lorraine Z to the squad in February and both are proving to be wonderful additions. Members of her talented channel have earned multiple top 10 rankings so far this year. Most of the horses she rides are owned by Criss Cross SAS, a company she started and owns that focuses on buying, selling, developing and competing in high performance sport horses. .

Although Danielle’s three children have shown no desire to follow in her equestrian footsteps, they are certainly supportive of her. “Our 15-year-old son is a musician, our 14-year-old son a boxer and our eight-year-old daughter is an animal lover who dreams of becoming a veterinarian. They are each a total joy and the best support team a mother could ask for.

So what’s next for this dynamic parent and driver who is also keeping a hand in the business world by investing in tech companies? “This summer and fall, we will be competing in Europe. Our next shows are in Cabourg and Grimaud, France.

And does she watch any Canadian shows on her radar? “Hopefully soon,” Danielle said. “Maybe next summer if I’m lucky. I would love to experience Spruce again and hear only the best things about Tbird.”


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