Canadian Olympian Amy Millar of Perth, ON, won the $20,000 Topline Trailers Grand Prix held on Saturday, June 26, 2021, at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.
With equestrian competition having recently been given the green light to resume in Ontario, athletes and their mounts flocked to Wesley Clover Parks for the Ottawa Welcome tournament, held June 23 to 27, and highlighted by Saturday afternoon’s $20,000 Topline Trailers Grand Prix.
The absence of spectators due to current health restrictions didn’t stop the riders from putting on great performances. A total of five competitors jumped clear over the first-round track set by course designer Pierre Burch in the all-weather ring to qualify for the jump-off. Three others also jumped clear but incurred a single time fault for exceeding the 87-second time allowed. Millar qualified both of her entries, Christiano and Ericson, for the jump-off where she was joined by Alexandre Thibault of Boucherville, QC; David Arcand of Montreal, QC; and Kelley Robinson of Russell, ON.
Millar was the first competitor back to contest the shortened jump-off track with Christiano, an 11-year-old Brandenburg gelding (Canoso x Compliment). The pair produced a second clear round in 35.37 seconds, forcing those who followed to chase their time.
Thibault was next in the ring with Chacco Prime, her 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Chacco Blue x Le Primeur). When two rails fell on course, Millar remained at the top of the leaderboard. Arcand then took his best shot with Dollar Del Colle, his eight-year-old French-bred mare (Kannan x Clinton), leaving all the rails in place but in a slower time of 36.87 seconds.
Robinson was next on course with her 13-year-old Canadian-bred gelding, Blue’s Yer Daddy (Mr. Blue x Lys de Darmen), who had won the last grand prix event of the 2020 season at Wesley Clover Parks. The pair gave it their all but crossed the timers in 35.50 seconds, falling just short of Millar’s leading time.
Still leading with Christiano, Millar had an opportunity to outdo herself with Ericson, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Padinus x Iroko) owned by Millar Brooke Farm Ltd. and Partners. A clear round in a time of 39.24 seconds would leave them fourth in the final standings, and Millar had sealed the victory with Christiano.
“He’s been amazing; he won the grand prix at Angelstone last week and now he’s won again here this week,” said Millar of Christiano, owned by Future Adventures. “He is a horse that was originally for my dad, Ian. He rode Christiano for a couple of years and did a beautiful job of training him. I started showing him at Wesley Clover Parks last fall and then rode him all winter. We’ve built a great partnership and I couldn’t be more pleased with how he’s come along.
“Kelley was second; she was hot on my tail!” said Millar, 44, of how the jump-off unfolded. “I went first on Christiano and there was a line where I could have done one less stride, so I probably left one second on the table. I didn’t get to see Kelley go because I was warming up my next horse, but she must have done it all because she was right on my time.”
Millar is one of three athletes who have been nominated to the Canadian Olympic Committee for the individual show jumping events at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Having represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Millar is continuing the family legacy. Her father, Ian, holds the world record for most Olympic appearances by any athlete in any sport with a total of 10.
The Millar family is based at Millar Brooke Farm in Perth, ON, making for an easy commute to Wesley Clover Parks.
“We love the Ottawa horse show, and we especially love competing so close to home,” said Millar. “We have two young rider competitors training with us that also got to do the grand prix today and put in good performances. With everything that has been going on in the past year, I’ve had to be away more than ever to stay at the top of the sport so I especially love being able to go home each day and sleep in my own bed.”
Following a few weeks of rest, Millar looks forward to returning to Wesley Clover Parks for the two-week Ottawa Summer Tournaments running July 14 to 18 and July 21 to 25, 2021. The first week of competition will be highlighted by the $50,000 Steel-Craft Grand Prix on Saturday, July 17, and live-streamed on CBC Sports, presented by Mark Motors Group. The following week, live streaming for feature classes will be available on Horse Network, presented by Terlin Construction, with the $75,000 RBC Grand Prix taking place on Saturday, July 24.
“We’ve been busy, so it will be nice to go home, retool, and come back for the shows in July,” Millar said. “They’re going to be great horse shows. Even more than that, I’m already looking forward having the international shows back next year. The world loves coming to Ottawa! The team at Wesley Clover Parks, led by Karen Sparks, Tracy Howard, and Duncan Oswald, bend over backwards to make sure we have everything that we need. The hospitality is amazing.
“I would also like to thank the owners that have helped me get these wonderful horses, concluded Millar. “Without the owners and the horses, I don’t get to win!”
For more information on the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments, visit www.OttawaEquestrianTournaments.com. Full results are available at www.ottawaequestriantournaments.com/results. Get the latest updates, news, and photos by following Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments on Facebook here.
$20,000 1.40m Topline Trailers Grand Prix
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Rider, Hometown, Horse, Faults, Time
1. Amy Millar Perth, ON Christiano 0:0 35.37
2. Kelley Robinson Russell, ON Blue’s Yer Daddy 0:0 35.50
3. David Arcand Montreal, QC Dollar Del Colle 0:0 36.87
4. Amy Millar Perth, ON Ericson 0:0 39.24
5. Alexanne Thibault Boucherville, QC Chacco Prime 0:8 36.02
6. Paul Halpern Sainte Anne des Plaines, QC Esra 1
7. Francois Lamontagne Saint-Eustache, QC Chanel du Calvaire 1
8. Sasha Maniaci Ottawa, ON Evita 1
9. David Arcand Montreal, QC Diaz Barbotiere 4
10. Alexandra Mitchell Lansdowne, ON Quicksilver 3E 5