• By: Katie Hartai

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Profile: Ian Millar

2015 marks the Year of Sport and the 60th anniversary of Canadas Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of these important milestones, OLM will be featuring Honoured Members of Canadas Sports Hall of Fame in a weekly Profile piece.

Canadas Sports Hall of Fame aims to share the stories and achievements of its Honoured Members to inspire Canadians in all aspects of life.

Ian Millar: Athlete, Equestrian

Ian Millar set the bar for Canadian equestrians—and then jumped over it.

Ian Millar
Photo courtesy of Gordon Milne

Millar is popularly known for his exceptional Olympic record. Competing in more Olympic Games than any Canadian in any sport, he set a World Record at the London 2012 Olympic Games when making his 10th Olympic appearance.

The dedicated athlete has also earned nine medals, including two Gold medals, between nine Pan American Games—more than any other show jumper! Millar is an accomplished 10-time Canadian Champion. In 1989, he became the first rider to win back-to-back World Cup Finals.

Millar has not let anything interfere with his professional career or love for the equestrian sport. He set a record for the oldest show jumper to stand on an Olympic podium at the 2012 Beijing Olympic Games when he won a Silver medal for Canada. Millar was 61 years old.

“I know what the median age is here, and I’m certain I’m on the other side of that, but I’m still very comfortable riding at the top level,” Millar says on his website. “I just love to do it. I cannot imagine a life without horses.”

This famous victory, marking the nation’s first win for team show jumping in 40 years, came at a time of great hardship for Millar. He had lost his wife and business partner of 39 years to cancer only months before. Persevering through his sorrow, Millar was able to dedicate the medal to her memory.

Today, Millar makes his home just outside of Ottawa at Millar Brooke Farm, a state-of-the-art training facility in Perth, Ontario. There he lives alongside his children Jonathon and Amy, who have both been Canadian Show Jumping Team members. Together, the Millar’s share their riding expertise with learning equestrians.

To learn more about Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, visit sportshall.ca.