In the half-century Ian Millar spent riding at the highest level for Canada, he says his greatest joys have been his Nations Cup wins alongside his teammates.
So it only makes sense—with a host of major championships just around the corner—that Millar would be the perfect choice for the Technical Advisor (TA), Jumping position for Canada’s national show jumping teams.
“I’ve won a lot of grands prix and individual titles, but nothing is better than winning a Nations Cup alongside three other Canadians,” Millar said. “Representing our country, that has motivated me from the beginning.”
Millar, a self-professed ‘lifelong learner,’ brings a range of different experiences to the role—including time training under more than a dozen different chefs d’equipes. “Each of them has been [a great leader] in their own right, and I will take that team spirit with me as I embark on this new role.
“I know we have some great riders and some great horses, and I am very optimistic that we are going to build a top team for [the Pan American Games in November 2023]. These games are going to be challenging, but they are our big chance to qualify for the Olympics. This is a must-do and a can-do thing. Then, we’ll build a team for Paris.”
Captain Canada, himself, has represented his country at 10 Pan American Games, winning 10 total medals (four gold, four silver, and two bronze). In his last championship appearance at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, he took home team gold alongside teammates Yann Candele, Tiffany Foster, and Eric Lamaze.
“A team made up of individuals rarely wins championship titles,” Millar reflected. “It has to be a team; with that feeling and that spirit that every team rider has each other’s back and they all work in a synergistic manner.”
But building synergy takes time, and with the Pan Ams just eight months away, Millar has plenty on his plate. If anyone is up for the challenge, though, it’s Captain Canada.
“It has been my great honor to ride for Canada for the better part of 50 years,” he said. “This is my opportunity to give back and it is with further honor that I do so.”