Caledon, Ontario – For the second year in a row, Ian Millar of Perth, ON, rode away with the Caledon Cup at the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament held September 23 to 27 at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in Caledon, ON.
Following three intense phases of show jumping, all held in different formats, Millar decisively won the 2015 Caledon Cup, presented by RAM Equestrian, after claiming victory in the third and final phase, the $75,000 CSI2* Caledon Cup – Phase Three, presented by Edge Mutual Insurance and Aviva Insurance. Coupled with his second-place finish in Friday night’s $35,000 CSI2* Caledon Cup – Phase Two, Millar was awarded the Caledon Cup for the second year in a row. Millar also won the coveted Caledon Cup in 2011 riding Star Power.
Millar’s win in the $75,000 CSI2* Caledon Cup – Phase Three did not come easy, however. Course designer Bernardo Cabral of Portugal set a technical track, and his tight time allowed prevented three riders from moving forward to the jump-off. Friday night’s Phase Two winners, Amy Millar and Heros, jumped clear but failed to make it home in 76 seconds, a fate that also befell Calgary’s Vanessa Mannix riding Grand Cru vd Vijk Eiken and Jonathon Millar aboard his father’s 2012 London Olympic mount, Star Power.
Six riders did find the key to a clear round, however, and advanced to the jump-off. Hyde Moffatt of Brantford, ON, set the pace with a clear round in 45.31 seconds riding Egor for owner Martha Younger. Olympic medalist Leslie Howard of the United States riding Utah and Ireland’s Conor Swail riding Grafton for owner Susan and Ariel Grange both took a shot and came home well under Moffatt’s time, but at the expense of a fallen rail.
Next into the ring, Millar executed a clear round in a time of 44.49 seconds to move into the lead. Mac Cone gave it his best shot with Gasper van den Doorn for owner Chadburn Holdings, but crossed the timers in 45.31 seconds to tie with Moffatt. As the final challenger, Isabelle Lapierre of Levis, QC, laid it all on the line riding Cescha M, but a rail at the penultimate fence would leave the pair in sixth place.
Millar praised Cabral’s course for producing an exciting class, saying, “The course designer was building to a mixed group. You had young horses, you had riders who are just gaining experience, and you had some sophisticated riders. He got the right results beautifully. He leaned more on the technical side, and it was tricky to get it done. His time allowed was right on the money. As soon as you have to do something faster, you run the risk of making a mistake.”
With a record ten Olympic appearances, Millar’s is a familiar name among show jumping fans. His mount, however, is a relative newcomer to the international scene. Teddy du Bosquetiau was purchased this spring in Belgium for Emily Kinch of Barbados, who trains with the Millar family. Kinch, 22, met her goal of competing at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games, and has now handed the reins over to Millar to campaign.
“Emily had the tremendous accomplishment of riding that horse at the Pan American Games and now that she is returning to Barbados, the family has offered me the ride,” explained Millar of the new addition to his competition string. “I only started riding the horse last week, and this was our first show together.”
Teddy du Bosquetiau is a 12-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Ogano Sitte x Albion du Chene Brule) owned by Emily Kinch, Allan Kinch and Fiona Kinch.
“He has a lot of thoroughbred in him and I grew up on thoroughbreds, so I am comfortable with his blood,” said Millar, 68, who was a member of Canada’s gold medal team at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. “With the warmbloods you see in our sport today, many riders would not be comfortable with as much blood as this horse has. You think forward, and he’s gone! But if you’re comfortable, you think fast and he goes. You don’t have to manufacture or create it.
“It is always an honour to win the Caledon Cup, and especially to win it with a new horse like that,” continued Millar. “Emily was here, and she was so excited. She loves this horse, and she’s so pleased that I am going to ride it.”
The new match proved to be a winning one. In addition to winning the overall Caledon Cup, presented by RAM Equestrian, Millar was awarded a $1,000 bonus from Henry Equestrian Plan (HEP) as the highest-placed rider using the HEP-signature saddle pad presented to all entries at the FEI horse inspection.
“The footing was superb, the course designing was great, and we enjoyed a fantastic week of weather,” said Millar. “EMG ran a great Canadian Show Jumping Tournament. This is an event I look forward to each year.”
Millar has yet another reason to look forward to coming to the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament: the addition of a new indoor arena, installed as part of a major renovation at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park in preparation for the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games. After Thursday’s $10,000 Caledon Cup – Phase One was held outdoors in a speed format, horses and riders headed indoors for the first time for the $35,000 Caledon Cup – Phase Two.
“I’ve said it to everyone who will listen to me; we are going to have so much fun in that arena!” raved Millar about the new indoor arena, which measures an impressive 117m x 275m. “Some arenas you are in, the atmosphere is just alright, and some are like being in a dungeon. The atmosphere in this arena was excellent. It was an entertaining competition, and the benefit of this arena to the sport is going to be tremendous. I kept saying that the Games were important, and the legacy was equally important, if not more so. Having an indoor venue like this is critical.”
On Saturday, the $5,000 Canadian Hunter Derby was held indoors with Darcy Hayes taking the win riding Say When for owner Danielle Baran. Kristjan Good was the runner-up riding Bally Sea for Stephanie Mackie, while Muffie Guthrie of Guelph, ON, placed third with Lucky 2 Knight and fourth with Damiro Van Ter Notelaere, both owned by Knightwood Stables. Hayes, who is based out of Sorensen Stables, rounded out the top five riding Berlena for owner Christine Carlsen.
Pan Am Challenge classes for junior and amateur show jumping athletes rounded out the competition at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament. Maddy Watzeck of Oakville, ON, topped a 30-horse starting field riding Utopia Belles to win the $10,000 Low Pan Am Challenge. Riders qualified for the Low Pan Am Challenge based on points earned throughout the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park show season in the .9m, 1m and 1.10m divisions.
Meanwhile, riders qualified for the $20,000 High Pan Am Challenge, presented by MVS Solutions, based on money won in the 1.20m, 1.30m and 1.40m divisions. Miranda Travers-Cavill of Claremont, ON, emerged victorious riding Verdi Birdy for owner Glenn Young, taking the win over Chantal Masselin of Creemore, ON, and her own Tout Court Z.
For more information on the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, including full results, please visit www.equiman.com.