Ian Millar, Canada’s 10-time Olympian, announced his retirement from international show jumping competition after nearly five decades at the elite level. At 72, Millar has chosen to focus on coaching and developing young horses.
Millar, of Perth, Ontario, was first named to the Nations Cup team in 1971. He has since been a perennial team member on the Canadian Equestrian Team, known for his ability to deliver under pressure in major competitions.
Millar has represented Canada in more than 200 Nations Cup competitions, 10 Olympic Games, 10 Pan American Games and seven World Championships. Millar’s 10 Olympic appearances is a world record for any athlete across all sports. He won his first Olympic medal, a team Silver, at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Games. He also has 10 Pan American Games medals, including two individual gold medals and two team gold medals. “Representing Canada many times over in my career has been my greatest honour,” said Millar.
Millar also has won over 150 Grand Prix competitions, including the Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Alberta. He is a 12-time Canadian show jumping champion and was the first rider to win back-to-back FEI World Cup Finals, earning the title with the charismatic Big Ben in 1988 and 1989.
Ian has been named a Member of the Order of Canada, been inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Hall Of Fame and the Jump Canada Hall Of Fame.
At the close of his international career, Millar was quick to thank his supporters, including the horses. “It has been the journey of a lifetime with so many dreams realized, so much due to the fantastic horses I was blessed to ride, to whom I am eternally grateful,” said Ian.