Ian Millar

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Ian Millar
Ian Millar head.jpg
Personal information
Full name Ian Millar
Nationality  Canada
Discipline Show jumping
Born (1947-01-06) January 6, 1947 (age 70)
Halifax, NS, CAN
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 167 lb (76 kg; 11 st 13 lb)

Ian Millar, CM (born January 6, 1947) is a Canadian Equestrian Team athlete for show jumping. He is a two-time winner of the Show Jumping World Cup and an Olympic silver medalist. Due to his longevity and accomplishments, he is often nicknamed "Captain Canada" in his sport.[1] He holds the record for most Olympic appearances by any athlete in any sport (10). A member of Canada's 2012 Olympic Games team, he broke the record when he took part in his tenth Games in London 2012.[1] In 2013, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.[2]


Millar was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He operates "Millar Brooke Farm" near the small town of Perth, Ontario.

In 1986 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada and in 1996 was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

His wife Lynn died of cancer in March 2008.

Equestrian career[edit]

Millar is an eleven-time winner of the Canadian Show Jumping Championship[3] and has captured six Spruce Meadows Derbys, having amassed $3.5 million in prize earnings there.

With his horse, Big Ben (1976–1999), Millar won more than 40 Grand Prix titles worldwide and the Show Jumping World Cup two years in a row. At the Pan American Games in August 1987, Ian Millar became the second Canadian to win an individual Pan Am gold medal. He holds the North American record for Grand Prix and Derby wins. He has been a member of every Canadian Equestrian Team at the Show Jumping World Championships team since 1972. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Millar competed at his ninth games, tying the record set by Hubert Raudaschl. He has been named to ten straight Olympic teams, but did not compete at the 1980 Summer Olympics because of the Canadian boycott.[4]

On August 18, at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, at the age of 61, Millar anchored his team (also including Jill Henselwood, Eric Lamaze, and Mac Cone) to a first-place standing. Riding In Style, he completed a faultless run to lead the Canadian team into a jump-off for gold with the United States. In the team equestrian gold-medal jump-off, Canada won the silver medal, Millar's first Olympic medal.[5]

Through 2011, Millar continued to win in the Grand Prix ring. He said that his next goal was to be selected for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, hoping to be joined on the Canadian team by son Jonathan, then 36, and daughter Amy, then 34. Millar was named to the 2012 Olympic team, making that appearance, his tenth, a record for any Olympic athlete's appearances at Olympics.[6] In the 2012 Olympics' Individual Jumping event, Millar finished in a three-way tie for 9th, the best Canadian result. In Team Jumping, Millar, along with fellow riders Jill Henselwood and Eric Lamaze, scored a fifth-place finish for Canada.

On September 14, 2014, Millar won the $1.5-million CP International at Spruce Meadows aboard Dixson, who shares bloodlines with Big Ben.[7]

On July 23, 2015, Millar won a gold medal in the Pan American Games.[8]


  1. ^ a b "London 2012: Canada's Ian Millar to compete at record 10th Games". BBC Sport. July 6, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Ian Millar". Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ian Millar Claims 2014 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship Title". equinecanada.ca. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  4. ^ Martin Cleary (August 8, 2008). "'The Olympics is not a young horse game'". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2008. 
  5. ^ Doug Smith (August 18, 2008). "'Canada wins silver in team show jumping'". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  6. ^ TSN, (April 18, 2012) ("Top 12 Canadian reasons to watch London in 2012", CTVOlympics.ca, Retrieved 2012-05-29
  7. ^ CBC, (September 14, 2014) ("Ian Millar wins CP International at Spruce Meadows", cbc.ca, Retrieved 2014-09-15
  8. ^ The Globe and Mail, (July 23, 2015) ("Ian Millar leads Canada to gold in team equestrian at Pan Am Games", theglobeandmail.com, Retrieved 2015-07-26

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Austria Hubert Raudaschl
Athletes with the most appearances at Olympic Games
2012 –
Succeeded by