Caledon, Ontario – Amy Millar of Perth, ON, was in the winner’s circle following her victory in the $35,000 CSI2* Caledon Cup – Phase Two, presented by Edge Mutual Insurance and Aviva Insurance, held Friday night, September 25, during the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON.
The Caledon Cup, held annually at the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, is comprised of three phases. Darrin Dlin of Calgary, AB, won the opening phase, the $10,000 Caledon Cup – Phase One, presented by Equestrian Management Group, on Thursday afternoon. On Friday evening, 34 grand prix competitors headed indoors for the first time in the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament’s history, making full use of the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park’s legacy from the 2015 TORONTO Pan American Games.
A challenging track set by course designer Bernardo Cabral of Portugal in the expansive indoor arena yielded a ten-horse jump-off. From there, four again jumped clear to put themselves in contention for the win. It turned out to be a family affair, as ten-time Olympian Ian Millar held the lead at the half-way point after turning in a clear round in a time of 37.52 seconds riding the newest addition to his string, Teddy du Bosquetiau, who served as Emily Kinch’s mount representing Barbados at the recent Pan American Games. His daughter, Amy Millar, knew she had an opportunity to take the win.
“I got to watch Ian go, and knew there was one roll-back I had to be quicker on and leave a stride out to the combination,” said Amy Millar, 38, of her jump-off strategy. “My horse is super-game, and did everything I asked of him. He is awesome in a jump-off because he is deceptively fast, and we ended up being fast enough to win.”
The victory marked Millar’s third FEI win with Heros, an eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Canadian River x Clinton) owned by AMMO Investments that she has been partnered with since June of 2014.
“He likes to win!” said Millar, who won the $50,000 CSI2* Zucarlos Grand Prix at the 2014 Orangeville Show Jumping Tournament as well as this year’s $34,000 CSI2* NationWide Grand Prix during the Angelstone Headwaters Cup in Rockwood, ON. “He is very playful, and he thinks everything is a game. He is scopey, careful, kind, and loves to jump. He is fairly well-trained; I’ve ridden some in my career that were not, so it’s nice to ride a horse that listens.
“He continues to get better all the time,” continued Millar of the horse’s development. “I am working on getting him fitter and stronger. He’s been fairly consistent at the 1.45m level, and now I’ve done a few 1.50m classes with him. I am looking forward to going to Florida this winter and start playing with the big kids again.” Millar is among the numerous competitors enjoying the completely renovated Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, which is managed by Equestrian Management Group (EMG).
“We are so lucky that the Pan Am Games were here, and that Craig (Collins) and the whole team improved this venue so much as a result,” said Millar, who also won Wednesday’s 1.35m Welcome riding the home-bred Paris for owners Matthews and Millar Brooke Farm. “The stabling in FEI is amazing, and the footing indoors is great. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to have a venue other than the Royal to ride indoors. The indoor ring is beautiful, big, and lovely to ride in. This place is amazing now; it has everything!”
Another competitor singing the praises of the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park is Darrin Dlin, who won Thursday’s $10,000 Caledon Cup – Phase 1, presented by Equestrian Management Group. Held in a speed format, 15 riders from the 34-horse starting field were able to produce a clear round, but none were as fast as Dlin and Ridley, who crossed the timers in 65.03 seconds for the win. “He’s a very strong power jumper, but he’s not normally the fastest,” said Dlin of the nine-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding (Ustinov x Adlantus AS) owned by Susan Grange. “Ian (Millar) went a couple before me on Dixson, and I watched him go around and set a good base line for the rest of us. Ridley was good and fresh and really ‘on’; I did all of the same lines and inside turns as Ian, and Ridley managed to come out on top.”
Coming closest to catching Dlin’s time was Isabelle Lapierre, 36, of Levis, QC, who guided Cescha M home in a time of 65.12 seconds. While the pair had to settle for second, they emerged victorious on Saturday in the $10,000 Jump Canada Talent Squad Eastern Canadian Final, presented by the Ontario Hunter Jumper Association (OHJA).
Dlin was riding a winning streak that started the previous week at the Autumn Classic, held September 16 to 20 at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park. There he won the $10,000 Open Welcome riding Carlotta Singular, Susan Grange’s 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Chasseur x Singular Joter), as well as the $25,000 Stonewood Grand Prix riding Tennyson.
“There were 12 in the jump-off for the grand prix, and we were second to go in the order,” explained Dlin, 45, detailing the $25,000 Stonewood Grand Prix. “Tennyson jumped the first round brilliantly so in the jump-off, I just picked up a good gallop and let him go. He set the pace, and no one could catch up.
“I started him when he was five, and he’s always been a little opinionated ever since the first day I rode him,” said Dlin of the eight-year-old bay Canadian Sport Horse gelding (Oklund x Lupicor) bred and owned by Susan Grange. “This last year, starting in Florida, he’s really come into his own. He’s shown some extraordinary ability. He is one of the fastest horses I have ever ridden.”
Dlin and Tennyson also emerged victorious in the 1.35m Grand Prix held Friday at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, taking home yet another win from the world-class Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park.
“The venue is really extraordinary,” said Dlin, 45, who commutes between Grange’s Lothlorien Farm in Cheltenham, ON, and his own Odyssey Farm North in Okotoks, AB, that he runs with his wife, Traci. “The horses are really happy here and love jumping in the new grand prix ring, the footing is fantastic, and jump materials are top of the line. It is a beautiful place to show.”
The Canadian Show Jumping Tournament concludes on Sunday with the $75,000 Caledon Cup – Phase 3, Presented Edge Mutual Insurance and Aviva Insurance. For more information, including full results, please visit www.equiman.com.