Palgrave, ON – Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, celebrated his 36th birthday with a win in the $30,000 Aviva Elite/Peel Maryborough Caledon Cup Phase II held Saturday, September 25, at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON.
A large starting field of 38 horses were in the hunt for victory and at the end of the first round, 11 had jumped clear to put their name on the list for the jump-off. From there, five jumped double clear, all stopping the timers within one second of each other.
Riding seventh in the jump-off order, Millar moved to the top of the leader board after guiding Always Cullohill to a clear round in a time of 38.35 seconds. His closest challenger proved to be his own sister, as Amy Millar made a valiant effort with Costa Rica Z. However, her time of 38.50 was not fast enough to win, giving her older brother the victory.
“It was a good jump-off for my horse,” said Jonathon Millar, who will represent Canada at the 2010 World Equestrian Games next week in Lexington, KY. “He has a big stride and he is pretty quick off the ground. In the jump-off, you galloped the first half, and then the second half was a little more delicate and tricky. All week, the courses have been inviting for the young ones, and if you have a horse that is more sophisticated, you can go for it. I am still getting to know my horse, and I was surprised how quick he was.”
Millar began riding the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding this June, and the pair has already been enjoying impressive results.
“He’s a fun horse,” said Millar, whose family’s Millar Brooke Farm owns Always Cullohill. “He’s always competitive when you walk in the ring. He’s a really nice horse for these types of classes.”
Millar is now well poised to contest Sunday’s $50,000 Caledon Cup Grand Prix, the third and final phase of competition comprising the Caledon Cup.
“The strategy was to put it down without risking everything, and it paid off today,” noted Millar, adding that he thought his sister would catch his time. “Amy’s horse has been going great. Costa Rica had a little break this winter, and she’s been in great form. I was actually surprised; she looked like she was going faster than I went. Either way, it was a great result.”
The younger of the two Millar siblings, Amy settled for second with Costa Rica Z while also taking fourth place with Piccobello du val de Geer. Yet another Ottawa-area native, Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, broke up the Millar family domination by taking third place with IV Ever after stopping the clock in 38.89 seconds. Tiffany Foster of Schomberg, ON, posted the only other clear round in the jump-off to finish fifth with Carlos de Noel in a time of 39.23 seconds.
Several other jump-off challengers were faster than the winning time, but at the expense of one rail. Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, was well ahead on the clock when he reached the final fence, only to see his chances of victory dashed. His time of 35.58 seconds was impressive with Redefin, owned by Susan Grange of Cheltenham, ON. Candele also placed ninth with another Grange entry, Arrazo van’t Hagenhof.
Milton’s Ainsley Vince, the winner of phase one of the Caledon Cup on Thursday, had the advantage of going last in the jump-off, but had a rail with Frieda to finish seventh. Roberto Teran, riding for KingRidge Stables of King City, ON, guided Distant Star 3E to an eighth place finish.
In a special ceremony held during Saturday’s competition, Children’s Wish recipient Mirja Reid, 12, of Nepean, ON, was presented with a pony by nine-time Olympian Ian Millar, and his two children, Jonathon and Amy. All three members of the Millar family are Canadian Show Jumping Team veterans. Reid traveled to the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament with her mother, Leah, her younger brother, Graham, and her friend, Madina.
Each year, the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament works with the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada to grant a wish for a pony to a child afflicted with a high risk, life threatening illness. On Saturday evening, September 25, the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament also mounted the annual Children’s Wish Celebration, a fundraising event for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada
Combining a charity element with the show jumping tournament, the annual Children’s Wish Celebration was held on Saturday, September 25, featuring live and silent auctions and an expanded charity casino with a Monte Carlo theme.
The Canadian Show Jumping Tournament plays host to several year-end championship events including the Eastern Regional Finals of the CET Medal for riders aged 21 and under, as well as the $5,000 Eastern Canadian Final of the Jump Canada Talent Squad.
$30,000 Aviva Elite/Peel Maryborough Caledon Cup Phase II
1. Jonathon Millar Perth, ON Always Cullohill 0:0 38.35
2. Amy Millar Perth, ON Costa Rica Z 0:0 38.50
3. Jill Henselwood Oxford Mills, ON IV Ever 0:0 38.89
4. Amy Millar Perth, ON Piccobello du val de Geer 0:0 38.93
5. Tiffany Foster Schomberg, ON Carlos de Noel 0:0 39.23
6. Yann Candele Caledon, ON Redefin 0:4 35.38
7. Ainsley Vince Milton, ON Frieda 0:4 36.37
8. Roberto Teran Colombia Distant Star 3E 0:4 37.31
9. Yann Candele Caledon, ON Arrazo van’t Hagenhof 0:4 37.72
10. Francois Lamontagne St. Eustache, QC Anton 0:4 38.40
11. John Anderson Calgary, AB Terrific 0:4 38.74
Photo: Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, won the $30,000 Aviva Elite/Peel Maryborough Caledon Cup Phase II at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in Palgrave, ON. Photo Credit – www.ShootPhoto.ca