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Ian Millar

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Ian Millar
Personal information
Full nameIan Millar
Nationality Canada
DisciplineShow jumping
Born (1947-01-06) January 6, 1947 (age 77)
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight167 lb (76 kg; 11 st 13 lb)
Medal record

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.[1] Due to his longevity and accomplishments, he is often nicknamed "Captain Canada" in his sport.[2] 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.[2]


Millar was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He operates "Millar Brooke Farm" near the small town of Perth, Ontario, alongside his children Jonathon Millar and Amy Millar, and daughter-in-law Kelly Soleau-Millar. [3]

In 1986 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 1996 was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.[4]

He has a degree in business administration from Algonquin College, and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Guelph.

His wife Lynn died of cancer in March 2008.[5]

Equestrian career[edit]

Millar is a twelve-time winner of the Canadian Show Jumping Championship.[6] He has been a staple on the Canadian Equestrian Team for decades, and has amassed over $3.5 million[7] in prize earnings at the prestigious Spruce Meadows venue in Calgary, Alberta.

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 (1988 & 1989). At the Pan American Games in August 1987, Ian Millar became the second Canadian to win an individual gold medal. He now has nine Pan American Games medals, including two individual golds. He holds the North American record for Grand Prix and Derby wins. He was a member of every Canadian Equestrian Team at the Show Jumping World Championships from 1972 to 2014. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Millar competed at his tenth games (his first having been in 1972, having only missed the 1980 Games due to the US-led boycott against the Soviet Union), breaking the record set by Hubert Raudaschl.

On 18 August, 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 round to lead the Canadian team into a jump-off for gold with the United States. Ultimately Canada would finish behind the American team to capture silver – Millar's first Olympic medal.[8]

Millar was named to the 2012 Olympic team, making that appearance, his tenth, a record for any Olympic athlete's appearances at Olympics.[9] In the 2012 Olympics' Individual Jumping event, Millar finished in a three-way tie for ninth aboard his gelding Star Power, 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.[10] This was the third time he had won the class, having won previously in 1987 and 1991 with Big Ben.[11]

On July 23, 2015, Millar won a gold medal in the Pan American Games team jumping event.[12]

On May 1, 2019, Millar announced his retirement from international competition to re-focus his attention on coaching and developing young horses.[13]

International championship results[edit]

Year Event Horse Placing Notes
1972 Olympic Games The Shoeman 6th Team
1976 Olympic Games Count Down 5th Team
1979 Pan American Games Brother Sam 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Team
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Individual
1980 World Cup Final Year of the Cat 14th
1980 World Championships Brother Sam 1st place, gold medalist(s) Team
RET Individual
1982 World Championships Wunderbar 5th Team
49th Individual
1983 Pan American Games Foresight 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Team
5th Individual
1984 World Cup Final Wotan 18th
1984 Olympic Games Big Ben 4th Team
14th Individual
1985 World Cup Final Big Ben 8th
1986 World Cup Final Big Ben 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
1986 World Championships Big Ben 4th Team
10th Individual
1987 World Cup Final Big Ben 5th
1987 Pan American Games Big Ben 1st place, gold medalist(s) Team
1st place, gold medalist(s) Individual
1988 World Cup Final Big Ben 1st place, gold medalist(s)
1988 Olympic Games Big Ben 4th Team
15th Individual
1989 World Cup Final Big Ben 1st place, gold medalist(s)
1990 World Cup Final Czar 12th
1991 World Cup Final Czar 15th
1992 World Cup Final Big Ben 40th
1992 Olympic Games Big Ben 9th Team
54th Individual
1993 World Cup Final Future Vision 37th
1994 World Equestrian Games Future Vision 7th Team
27th Individual
1996 Olympic Games Play It Again 16th Team
47th Individual
1997 World Cup Final 28th
1998 World Equestrian Games Mont Cenis 10th Team
39th Individual
1999 Pan American Games Ivar 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Team
1st place, gold medalist(s) Individual
2000 World Cup Final Ivar 30th
2000 Olympic Games Dorincord 9th Team
13th Individual
2003 Pan American Games Promise Me 5th Team
7th Individual
2004 Olympic Games Promise Me 22nd Individual
2005 World Equestrian Games In Style 13th Team
90th Individual
2007 Pan American Games In Style 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Team
4th Individual
2008 Olympic Games In Style 2nd place, silver medalist(s) Team
22nd Individual
2009 World Cup Final In Style 15th
2011 Pan American Games Star Power 4th Team
24th Individual
2012 Olympic Games Star Power 5th Team
9th Individual
2014 World Equestrian Games Dixson 8th Team
36th Individual
2015 Pan American Games Dixson 1st place, gold medalist(s) Team
16th Individual
EL = Eliminated; RET = Retired; WD = Withdrew


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Ian Millar". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on December 4, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "London 2012: Canada's Ian Millar to compete at record 10th Games". BBC Sport. July 6, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ian Millar thrilled to pass Olympic show-jumping torch to daughter Amy". National Post. July 13, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ian Millar". oshof.ca. Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  5. ^ "Ian Millar's wife passes away". EQUISPORT. March 7, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2024.
  6. ^ "Ian Millar Claims 2014 Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Championship Title". Ontario Equestrian. November 8, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  7. ^ "Spruce Meadows Athletes". www.sprucemeadows.com. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Doug Smith (August 18, 2008). "'Canada wins silver in team show jumping'". Toronto Star. Retrieved August 18, 2008.
  9. ^ TSN, (April 18, 2012) ("Top 12 Canadian reasons to watch London in 2012", CTVOlympics.ca, Retrieved May 29, 2012
  10. ^ CBC, (September 14, 2014) ("Ian Millar wins CP International at Spruce Meadows", cbc.ca, Retrieved September 15, 2014
  11. ^ "Ian Millar Wins $1.5 Million CP International, Presented by Rolex - Ontario Equestrian". Ontario Equestrian. September 15, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  12. ^ The Globe and Mail (July 23, 2015) ("Ian Millar leads Canada to gold in team equestrian at Pan Am Games", theglobeandmail.com, Retrieved July 26, 2015
  13. ^ Showjumping, www worldofshowjumping com, World of. "Ian Millar announces retirement from international competition | World of Showjumping". www.worldofshowjumping.com. Retrieved May 3, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]

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