Major League Show Jumping team jumping makes its Canadian debut tonight at Angelstone Tournaments in Toronto.
It’s the first ever 5* event to be hosted in Ontario and the third of ten stops on the 2021 MLSJ Tour. After two phases in Traverse City, Team Eye Candy has the early lead, sitting on 18 points, while Diamond Devils, Lucky Charms and Roadrunners are tied for second on 11 points.
But with eight phases to go and changes in the rider line up on all eight teams save Eye Candy, there’s ample time and talent to make moves on the leaderboard.
MLSJ co-founder Keean White caught up with 10-time Olympian Ian Millar to run the odds.
- Amy Millar
- Paul O’Shea
- Jacqueline Steffens
Ian Millar: It’s a very, very strong team. And what makes a really good team is if they get along and there’s a feeling of synergy between the athletes. And that’s what you have with these three riders. There’s three of them, but three adds up to about ten. When they when they get in the heat of it, they really have each other’s back. And that’s really their strength. And they’re having a fantastic go.
- Shane Sweetnam
- Lacey Gilbertson
- Andrew Bourns
Ian Millar: That is a very, very strong team. I still like Eye Candy better. Lucky Charms will go second to last, and we can’t underestimate the draw. That’s a really big deal, because to be able to see where the other teams stand ahead of you is so, so, so important. So are you emphasizing just not having a rail down or do you really have to not have a real down and go fast? And the last team going in, we’ll have all that knowledge, which gives Eye Candy a great advantage. I suggest it’s going to come down to that kind of strategy tonight because the teams are all strong, they’re all good riders. I think in that first round we’ll see quite a few similar scores and it’ll come down to the time.
- Natalie Dean
- Erynn Ballard
- Bliss Heers
Ian Millar: Again a lot of speed on that team, but they’ve got to leave the rails in the cups and sometimes riders just get going too fast and rails fly. I think again strategy on their part. If they play their game well, there are a real threat.
- Daniel Rihan Junior
- John Perez
- Nicholas Bizzaro
Ian Millar: I don’t want to be hard on them. But I say a little bit of a long shot.
- Mac Cone
- Peter Leone
- Molly Ashe
Ian Millar: Those are great friends of mine. And Mac is an ex-team mate of mine. So next to Eye Candy, a real sentimental favorite for me. And there’s a lot of experience on that team. If you add up the Crusaders and do an average age on that team there, let’s call them mature. And I think their maturity and their good judgment might just get them in that top.
- Nicolette Hirt
- Chandler Meadow
- Lauren Hough
Ian Millar: I hate to be too hard on them. I’m not sure. I think they’re right on the edge of making the top four cut for now.
- McLain Ward
- Adrienne Sternlicht
- Kaitlin Campbell
Ian Millar: You can almost give them a pass in the top four, without even going. That is strong. And so, yes, I called them for a top four.
- Ashlee Bond
- Cat Tyree
- Brianne Goutal Marteau
Ian Millar: That is a dangerous team. I know all three riders have ridden against them, and you better look out. There’s no mercy for many of them. And I would think that they’re going to make the top four.
The takeaway: “I think we’ve got six teams [that are contenders for the top four slots], in my view,” said Millar. “But you never know what those long shots will do. That’s one of the beautiful things in our sport. On any given day, the darndest thing can happen.”
Tune in tonight at 8:00pm ET for the $200,000 MLSJ Team Event on majorleagueshowjumping.com