Tag Archives: Ottawa International Horse Show

Jonathon Millar and Kelly Soleau-Millar Earn Opening Day Victories at CSI2* Ottawa Int’l Horse Show

Jonathon Millar and Caprice. Photo by Jump Media.

Ottawa, Ontario – The CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Show opened on Wednesday, July 20, with Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON and his wife, Kelly Soleau-Millar, each enjoying a win on the grass grand prix field at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

The five-day international show jumping tournament runs through Sunday, July 24, and boasts an impressive list of top competitors, including four members of the Millar family.  Ten-time Olympian Ian Millar, 2016 Canadian Olympic Show Jumping Team member Amy Millar, and husband and wife Jonathon Millar and Kelly Soleau-Millar are all competing at this year’s Ottawa International Horse Show.  The husband and wife duo scored victories in the two featured classes on opening day, with Jonathon winning the 1.35m Open Jumper competition, presented by Deloitte, with Caprice while Soleau-Millar of Wellington, FL, topped the 1.25 Open Jumper, presented by Juniper Farm, riding Hoolie Hoo.

Soleau-Millar and Hoolie Hoo, the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by C. F. Farms, bested a field of 32 entries with a double clear effort in a winning jump-off time of 43.99 seconds.  The 1.35m Open Jumpers were next, and this time it was Jonathon riding Caprice, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Peter Edgar, who produced the winning round to beat out 24 other competitors.

“It’s been a real Team Millar day!” said Soleau-Millar of the back-to-back victories, which were immediately followed by a win for their student, Adam Rittenberg, riding Alazan in the 1.30m Junior/Amateur competition.

Married in December, Jonathon and Soleau-Millar are no strangers to traveling and competing together, most often alongside Ian and Amy.

“We’re on the road a lot, and it’s nice to be able to travel with the whole group,” said Jonathon.  “We’re really fortunate that way.  The horses have all been great, so that always makes showing together even more special.”

Jonathon continued, “We’re also fortunate that we all have a common goal.  We all want to be successful ourselves, but we also want each other to be successful.  Hopefully at the end of the day, at least one of us has had a good day!”

Millar Brooke Farm has brought a total of 30 horses from its home base in Perth, ON to the Ottawa International Horse Show.  Sanctioned as a CSI2* by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), riders competing in the feature events are able to earn valuable World Rider Ranking points.

“Having FEI competition in our backyard is amazing,” said Soleau-Millar.  “We couldn’t ask for a better venue, and the prize money is outstanding.  I ride a lot of the young horses and bring them along, and it’s hard to make your way without wonderful shows like this one that have such strong support and money behind them.”

Having a world-class competition situated only 45 minutes from home is a big draw for the Millar family.

“The field is unbelievable to ride in, and the improvements made every year are just outstanding,” Soleau-Millar said.  “The schedule is wonderful, and everything is competitor and horse friendly.  It’s really nice to have a place that’s close to home and at a venue that’s so beautiful.”

Spectators at the CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Show can expect to see the Millar family in action throughout the week.  Featured events include the $35,000 CSI2* Open Welcome on Friday, the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix on Saturday, and the $100,000 CSI2* Classic on Sunday, all beginning at 2 p.m.

To find out more about the Ottawa National and CSI2* Ottawa International Horse Shows, visit www.ottawaequestriantournaments.com. For complete results from the Ottawa National Horse Show, visit ottawa.showmanagementsystem.com.

Jennifer Ward
cell: 613-292-5439

Mac McQuaker Claims Victory in $7,500 Lynn Millar Memorial Speed Derby at Ottawa International

Mac McQuaker and Brother Thelonious. Photos by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Grant Field Tops $5,000 Jump Canada Talent Squad

Ottawa, Ontario – All eyes were on the clock on Friday, June 19, as Mac McQuaker contested the $7,500 Lynn Millar Memorial Speed Derby at the inaugural Ottawa International Horse Show running June 17 to 21 at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

McQuaker of Schomberg, ON impressed with the eight-year-old Polish-bred gelding Brother Thelonious, owned by Heartland Sport Horses Ltd of Winnipeg, MB. The pair’s time of 84.12 seconds to complete the dynamic track set by course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil proved quick enough for the win. It was the first time that McQuaker and Brother Thelonious had contested a speed derby, but beginner’s luck paid off.

“He’s a new horse for us – we picked him up in Poland last fall – and he is coming along really nicely,” said McQuaker, who operates Gryphon Farms with his wife, Christi. “In Poland they do anything and everything, including cross country, so I wasn’t surprised when he took to the natural obstacles as well as he did. He’s never looked at anything so far and that allowed me to take a bit of a chance.”

McQuaker stole the lead from 13-year-old Sam Walker of Nobleton, ON aboard his own Andino Z. Walker, who posted a time of 86.21 seconds for second place, was the youngest competitor in the class, gamely competing against riders many years his senior.

“I had a lot of fun; the course designer built a really good track and the horses jumped great,” said Walker. “I was really excited because I have never jumped in such a class before, but it was nerve wracking considering the pros that I was riding against. It was an honour to jump with those riders.”

Behind Walker, Katie Bowles of Toronto, ON clinched third place with a time of 90.15 seconds riding her own Valentijn. Caroline Thibault of Carignan, QC finished fourth on Nature des Pierres in a time of 90.65 seconds for owner Christina MacDougall.

Thursday’s $10,000 Open Welcome winner, Amy Millar of Perth, ON, and Rosemary Burton’s Rio Rosetta rounded out the top five in the class that was presented in memory of Millar’s mother. Lynn Millar was the devoted matriarch of the Millar family and has been sadly missed by the equestrian community since her passing in 2008. She was an outstanding horsewoman and integral part of the Millar family’s show jumping success, including the development of Millar Brooke Farm, and the achievements that made her husband, Ian Millar, Canada’s most decorated equestrian.

McQuaker was happy to be part of the tribute and event happier to end up on top, jumping Brother Thelonious flawlessly over unfamiliar fences, which included use of the Grand Prix field’s grass bank and the dreaded dike.

“The course allowed you to make a few mistakes and, at a height of 1.20m, you could get away with it, but it was a great way to get back into this ring and do a derby, which turned out to be very competitive,” said McQuaker, who was pleased to be showing in Ottawa again. “We have a long history of coming to this facility that dates back to the 80s, and I am really happy to see it back up and running. They have made huge improvements and I know it’s going to grow and grow.”

Ian Millar was waiting on the sidelines to present McQuaker with the winner’s awards, which was a highlight in itself.

“For 20 years, I’ve been handing him ribbons and coolers,” joked McQuaker, who has also been involved in the sport as a competition manager and organizer. “It was nice to get one from him, especially one that’s in memory of his wife.”

Grant Field Wins $5,000 Jump Canada Talent Squad

Earlier in the day, Grant Field of Stouffville, ON earned the top spot in the $5,000 Jump Canada Talent Squad, presented by RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securities, riding Baffin. Field and his ten-year-old Polish-bred gelding were the only contenders to leave all the rails up, crossing the timers clear in 87.25 seconds to take the win with one time fault.

Grant Field and Baffin
Grant Field and Baffin

“This horse is a true competitor,” said Field. “A lot of horses are good at what they do; they like it and that’s fine, but this is the one-in-a-million horse that looks around and says ‘I can jump better than all these horses’. With that personality, he pats you on the back and convinces you that you’re going to be fine.”

Field left his Deerfield Farm at 3 a.m. on Friday morning to arrive at Wesley Clover Parks specifically for the Ottawa stop in the Jump Canada Talent Squad Series. He also contested the Series with Baffin throughout the 2014 season as well.

Behind Field, the fastest of the four-fault rounds belonged to Muhammad Itani of Essex, ON and his own Tax Free. With one rail and a time of 77.517 seconds, they claimed second place, while Taylor Mulligan of Merrickville, ON rounded out the top three with one rail in 77.542 seconds aboard Social Network for owner Robert Taylor.

RCMP Musical Ride

To celebrate the inaugural Ottawa International Horse Show, the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride took a break from its national tour to return to Ottawa for a special performance at Wesley Clover Parks on Friday evening. Not a single seat surrounding the Grand Prix Field was left empty as more than 3,000 spectators spilled into Wesley Clover Parks for a glimpse of the RCMP’s impressive and patriotic routine.

On Saturday, the $35,000 Brookstreet Grand Prix takes center stage at 2 p.m. to highlight the Ottawa International Horse Show. Show jumping fans unable to be in attendance can still enjoy the broadcast live by clicking here to watch. The $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby caps off the week on Sunday.

Conveniently located at the Moodie Drive exit off the 417 highway, Wesley Clover Parks brings equestrian sport to the heart of Ottawa. For more information on the Ottawa International Horse Show, please visit www.ottawahorseshow.ca or www.wesleycloverparks.com.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439

Amy Millar and Heros Win $10,000 Karson Open Welcome at Ottawa International Horse Show

Amy Millar and Heros. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Ottawa, Ontario – Show jumping made its official return to the nation’s capital this week with local competitor Amy Millar of Perth, ON leading the charge. With top-level jumper competition at the Ottawa International Horse Show underway, Millar piloted Heros, owned by AMMO Investments, to the top of a 33-horse starting field to win the $10,000 Karson Open Welcome on Thursday, June 18, at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

The Ottawa International, which runs June 17 to 21, is the first major show jumping tournament to be held at Wesley Clover Parks, formerly the Nepean National Equestrian Center, since 2011. Now under the management of the Wesley Clover Foundation, Wesley Clover Parks has undergone an extensive multi-million dollar transformation to bring the competition venue back up to international standards.

Ten horses jumped clean in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Elizabeth Bates of Toronto, ON returned second in the order with her own Wildfire to hold the lead until the final trip. Millar was originally seventh in the jump-off order, but returned last after Heros lost a shoe in the warm-up.

“We were two jumps from being finished when he pulled a shoe, so we tacked it back on, finished our warm-up, and away we went,” said Millar of the minor setback that was quickly redeemed. “I took some risks and he stayed with me. It was so fun!”

Millar’s fault-free effort in 39.90 seconds bumped Bates and Wildfire to second with their time of 41.39 seconds. Melissa Orlick-Zbierski of Wellington, FL, who trains with the Millar family, rode Bonzay to a third-place finish in 41.62 seconds.

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON clinched fourth in 43.63 seconds aboard her own Viggo. American competitor Kelly Soleau, who also trains with the Millar family in Perth, ON, claimed fifth after riding Centre Ice to a double-clear performance in 43.84 seconds.

With family members from Ottawa cheering her on in the stands, Millar admitted that jumping at Wesley Clover Parks is a special experience made even more special by an amazing animal.

“I got Heros last year and the whole time I’ve had him, it just gets better and better,” said Millar of the eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Canadian River x Clinton). “I really believe in him and it’s pretty exciting that I think he’s this good at this age. Finding a horse this special is really difficult.

“And, I think it’s awesome that he’s by Canadian River, because now he is Canadian,” she added with a smile.

Purchased last year, Millar rides Heros for AMMO Investments. Despite a short-term partnership with Heros, she has already experienced great success with the young mount, winning the $50,000 CSI2* Zucarlos Grand Prix at the Orangeville Show Jumping Tournament in Orangeville, ON last summer. Millar and Heros will be looking for their next big victory in the $35,000 Brookstreet Grand Prix on Saturday, June 20, at the Ottawa International.

While shaving more than a full second off the leading time, Millar put her young horse to the test and it paid off.

“I trust him, he trusts me, and he’s really brave for his age,” she said. “He’s almost like a cocky teenage punk – whatever you put in front of him he thinks is fun and he loves to jump. If you turned him loose and there were jumps in a ring, he would probably jump them.”

While usually showing at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, AB at this time of the year, Millar stayed home to jump on the grass Grand Prix field at Wesley Clover Parks.

“I am having such a great time here and I’m so happy to be back on grass,” she said. “I spend most of my time jumping on all-weather footing. The horses jumped so well off this and they feel better the next day than they would anywhere else. All the improvements at Wesley Clover Parks are truly amazing.”

Course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil set the tracks for the $10,000 Karson Open Welcome and will continue to build at the Ottawa International as one of his stops before course designing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Earlier in the day on the Grand Prix field, Millar rode Darino for owner Charles Schneider in the 1.20m Open Jumper, while Underhill and her own Kodaline won the 1.30m Open Jumper.

Friday’s highlights at the Ottawa International include the $5,000 Jump Canada Talent Squad and the $7,500 Lynn Millar Memorial 1.20m Speed Derby, set for 4 p.m. Coming up on the weekend, the $35,000 Brookstreet Grand Prix will take center stage on Saturday at 2 p.m. The $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby will cap off the week on Sunday.

To celebrate the inaugural Ottawa International Horse Show, the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride will take a break from their national tour for a special performance at Wesley Clover Parks on Friday, June 19, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the RCMP Musical Ride are $5 per person, with children ten and under admitted free. Tickets are available through advance purchase ONLY, and can be purchased at the main office at Wesley Clover Parks, by calling (613) 271-5452, or by visiting https://www.snapuptickets.com/events/detail/rcmp-musical-ride.

Conveniently located at the Moodie Drive exit off the 417 highway, Wesley Clover Parks brings equestrian sport to the heart of Ottawa. For more information on the Ottawa International Horse Show, please visit www.ottawahorseshow.ca or www.wesleycloverparks.com.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Jump Media
Cell: (613) 292-5439