Ottawa, Ontario – The student beat the teacher as 21-year-old Jordan MacPherson of Toronto, ON, edged her coach, Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, for the win in Friday’s $10,000 NationWide Open Welcome at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments taking place at the Nepean National Equestrian Park in Ottawa, ON. MacPherson trains with nine-time Olympian Ian Millar and his children, Canadian Equestrian Team members Jonathon and Amy, at Millar Brooke Farm in Perth, ON. Another Millar Brooke student, Karen Sparks of Ottawa, ON, took third place in Friday’s event.
A total of 15 horses took to the grass grand prix field in an effort to jump clear over the track set by course designer Catsy Cruz of Mexico. Five horses passed the test to advance to the all-deciding jump-off.
MacPherson led things off, posting another clear round in a time of 42.46 seconds riding Piccobello, her partner since last November. Miranda Travers-Cavill of Claremont, ON, was next to challenge with Legende de B’Neville but left a rail on the ground to eventually finish fifth.
Michele Hinrichs of Brantford, ON, guided Patronuss to a steady clear round in the jump-off, but their time of 49.19 seconds was no threat to the leader. It was a different story altogether when Jonathon Millar entered the ring. The 36-year-old did his best to catch MacPherson, tightening his turns and galloping over the track with Cantero Z, but his final time of 44.75 was not fast enough to take over the lead.
As the last rider on course, Sparks had the final opportunity to catch MacPherson. Her nine-year-old Dutch-bred horse, Ferraro K, didn’t touch a rail, but a time of 46.43 seconds left Sparks in third position. For MacPherson, the win marked the biggest victory of her career to date. “I know she’s a fast horse to begin with, so I just wanted to ride the plan and jump clean,” said MacPherson, who had won Wednesday’s 1.40m Junior/Amateur event at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments. “Jonathon’s horse is also fast, and obviously he’s had more experience than I have, but you never really know what is going to happen when you go first. You just hope that you are fast enough.”
Fast enough she was, relegating Jonathon Millar to second place. “Piccobello is a naturally quick horse and Jordan was efficient,” said Jonathon Millar, who was a member of Canada’s fifth place team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. “I did what I could today, but she was better. You can’t be unhappy when your students beat you because that is what they aspire to. It was a great win for Jordan, and it was a nice day for Millar Brooke, taking first, second and third.”
MacPherson, a student at Western University who has trained at Millar Brooke Farm for the past three years, noted, “It is to their credit that they have taught me so well.”
Other winners in Friday’s events included two-time Olympian Jay Hayes of Orangeville, ON, who guided Riva to victory in the $5,000 1.35m Lynn Millar Memorial. Owned by Summerhill Farm, the seven-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare also took top honours with Hayes in the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Division of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series. Millar Brooke Farm’s Alazan, ridden by Jonathon Millar, won the Six-Year-Old Division, while Jay Hayes’ son-in-law, Johan Letimonier, captured victory in the Five-Year-Old Division aboard Selma de la Batia, owned by DK Masterson Holdings.
Approximately 500 horses will compete during the two weeks of competition, running August 10 to 14 and August 17-21 at the Nepean National Equestrian Park, conveniently located at the 417 Queensway and Moodie Drive. Featured events on Saturday, August 13, include the $10,000 Peel Maryborough Mutual Insurance Company/Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd. Modified Grand Prix, followed by the $5,000 Broccoli Hill Hunter Derby. The $25,000 Hayes Co. Grand Prix will be held at approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 14.
The second week of competition, running August 17 to 21, will see two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela setting the tracks in the grand prix field. Highlights include the $10,000 Ottawa Rental & Supply Ltd. Open Welcome on Friday, August 19, and the thrilling $10,000 ATCO Jumping Derby on Saturday, August 20. The grand finale is Sunday’s $75,000 CSI** Brookstreet Grand Prix, sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).
For more information on the National Capital Show Jumping Tournament, please visit www.hayesco.ca.
$10,000 NationWide Open Welcome – Friday, August 12, 2011
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Jordan MacPherson Toronto, ON Piccobello 0:0 42.46
2. Jonathon Millar Perth, ON Cantero Z 0:0 44.75
3. Karen Sparks Ottawa, ON Ferraro K 0:0 46.43
4. Michele Hinrichs Brantford, ON Patronuss 0:0 49.19
5. Miranda Travers-Cavill Claremont, ON Legende de B’Neville 0:4 48.58
6. Amy Millar Perth, ON Top Gun 4
7. Ian Millar Perth, ON Dryden 4
8. Sarah Johnstone Aurora, ON Starlet 4
9. Margie Gayford Sharon, ON Calando Z 4
10. Lauren Hunkin Kemptville, ON Larry 0146 8
Photo: Jordan MacPherson of Toronto, ON, won the $10,000 NationWide Open Welcome on Friday, August 12, at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments in Ottawa, ON. Photo Credit – RedRibbonPhotography.com