Ian Millar & Dixson compete at Spruce Meadows in September, 2015.
In several interviews conducted on site at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ian Millar has revealed that he will not pursue a spot on the 2016 Canadian Olympic Show Jumping Team, the selection of which is currently underway.
Millar, who made his record-breaking 10th Olympic appearance at London in 2012, has been at the top of the sport for more than four decades. But the 69-year-old rider, trainer, and father has expressed that the timing may not be not right for his 11th Olympic appearance. As recently as January, Millar was still on track to earn a spot on Canada’s Olympic team, but his top horse Dixson was sidelined in February to treat a case of rare nasal hematomas.
The treatment required surgery, and while Dixson, a 13-year-old Belgian warmblood by Vigo D’arsouilles recovered well, Millar is now making it known that to train him back up and have him in top form by the time the Olympics roll around would be unrealistic, and not in the best interests of the horse’s welfare.
It will mean that Millar will miss his first Olympics since 1980, but Millar hopes to see one of his children fill the vacant Olympic spot. Both Millar’s son Jonathan Millar, and daughter Amy Millar are successful international grand prix riders in their own right, and both have been lodging top grand prix finishes lately.
Canadian chef d’equipe Mark Laskin is said to make his final selection for Canada’s Olympic Show Jumping Team within the next four weeks, with the upcoming two to three weeks of CSI5* competition at Spruce Meadows serving as the final, critical chance for Canada’s Olympic hopefuls to show them they are ready for a trip to Brazil this August.
Go here to read more of Millar’s remarks in detail.