Ian Millar & Dixson. ph: Ben Radvanyi Photography.
On the opening night of the Royal Horse Show, Canada’s Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario, won the first phase of competition in the $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship. Held on Friday, November 3, 2017, the festivities were part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
Speed was the name of the game in the competition against the clock, and Millar was gunning for a record thirteenth national title win with Dixson, the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Vigo D’ arsouilles x Olisco). The pair left all the jumps in place and turned in the fastest time of 61.75s over the track set by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge.
“The Canadian Championship is a really big deal for us; it’s what this weekend is all about,” said Millar, the 70-year-old defending champion. “The timing is wonderful because it’s year-end, so it culminates like a true championship. Sport has to have a script to it with a start, an end, and drama. This gives you a script with the championship at the end of the season, and The Royal does a very, very good job of it. It is very prestigious to win.”
Canada’s 25-year-old Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC, gave Millar a run for his money riding the ten-year-old BWP mare Hermelien VD Hooghoeve, but was just off the pace in 62.23s to finish in the runner-up position.
Canadian Amy Millar of Perth, ON, couldn’t catch her father, crossing the timers aboard the ten-year-old BWP gelding Heros for a 3rd place time of 64.25s. Isabelle Lapierre of Levis, QC, stopped the clock in 65.47s for 4th place aboard the 10-year-old KWPN mare Cescha M.
“It is a hungry group,” said Millar of the talent represented in the 2017 Canadian Show Jumping Championship. “Now it depends on what the course designer does. If he really starts ticking it up tomorrow, it will change around, which makes it a better competition. Where I stand now, I hope his course is simple tomorrow, but in the interest of the sport, let’s jack it up and make everybody jump!”
Millar’s win was a sentimental one following the death of Dixson’s owner, Susan Grange, an immense supporter of international show jumping. Millar acknowledged Grange’s contribution, noting, “It was a terrible loss. She owned In Style for me and now this horse, as was well as Redefin and Dryden in between. She’s done a tremendous amount for me and my career and I will miss her greatly. She was a lovely horsewoman on top of it all.”
The $125,000 Canadian Show Jumping Championship concludes on Saturday evening, November 4. With competitors carrying their scores over to the final phase, Millar sits at the top of the leaderboard.
Royal Horse Show VIP subscriptions, group, and individual tickets are now on sale and are expected to sell-out on multiple nights during the Royal Horse Show. To purchase tickets, click here.
For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.
Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.
The full results can be viewed here.