“Captain Canada” Ian Millar and Dixson thrilled in the jump off to take home the red ribbon and top prize in the $50,000 FEI Jumper Classic — presented by Horseware Ireland on Sunday (May 21).
The class wrapped up the Caledon National CSI2* and another exciting week of jumping action at Caledon Equestrian Park.
Ian Millar and Dixson accepting the red rosette from Horseware's Kelley Nicholls and daughter Jillian Nicholls for the $50,000 Jumper classic presented by Horseware win at the Caledon National CSI2* May 21st.
Photo- Ben Radvanyi Photography
Millar saw two of his rides make it through to the jump off out of a starting field of 28 riders and horses, with he and Dixson running last in a jump off including eight qualifiers.
Ireland’s Conor Swail and Flower looked good to repeat after a big win in the $35,000 FEI Open Welcome two days earlier, and carried the field until Millar and Dixson edged them out by a little more than half a second for the win.
“Today’s ride was tough, the top couple ahead of me — the two Irishmen (Swail and Daniel Coyle) — really put it on and it was very difficult to get the win,” said Millar.
Venezuelan course designer, Leopoldo Palacios, didn’t make it easy for the field, but Millar had two cracks at the jump off after also qualifying on Vittorio 8 — owned by Future Adventures.
“It gives you a feel for the course for sure. Having (Vittoria 8) go first in the jump off once again, I could see my time and where I needed to pick it up. Two horses definitely gives you an advantage, there’s no question about that,” added Millar.
Dixson, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood, was forced to pull out of the Rio Olympics due to some sinus issues, which Millar says appear to be behind him and is looking forward to the season ahead.
“He was part of the gold-medal team at the (Pan American Games) right here at this facility, he won the richest Grand Prix in the world — The CP International at Spruce Meadows. He’s had a wonderful career and he’s got a wonderful career ahead of him,” said Millar.
Swail and Flower placed second in the class, with Veronica Bot and Cool Down 3 rounding out the top three.
The week’s FEI action kicked off Friday (May 19) afternoon with the with the $35,000 FEI Open Welcome, presented by Caledon Equestrian Park.
Craig Collins of Equestrian Management Group (EMG) making the winning presentation to Conor Swail and Flower for their victory of the $35,000 FEI Open Welcome presented by the Caledon Equestrian Park, May 19, 2017. Photo- Ben Radvanyi Photography
A stacked field of international riders saw Irishman Swail and Flower take home the top prize. Flower, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Vanessa Mannix and Conor Swail out of Calgary, also won the $50,000 FEI Jumper Classic at Caledon Equestrian Park in August 2016 while being piloted by Finnish rider Nina Fagerström.
On Friday, Swail and Flower bested a starting field of 37 riders, edging out fellow Irishman Daniel Coyle and Susan and Ariel Grange’s Cita for the big prize.
Three Canadians rounded out the top five with Keean White taking third while riding Harthill Farm’s Carrera van het Westleven Z. Beth Underhill and Count Me In and Ian Millar and Dixson finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Saturday (May 20) saw the $15,000 Modified Grand Prix, presented by Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals. Rachel Schnurr, somewhat new to the Grand Prix ring, took first in the class riding PRINCE GARBO — owned by Sara Tindale.
Schnurr and PRINCE GARBO, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood Gelding, were the last to go in a first round featuring a starting field of 31 and didn’t miss a beat. The pair were able to outduel a couple of seasoned veterans in the jump off also, topping Schomberg’s Hugh Graham and Tottenham’s Erynn Ballard for their first Modified Grand Prix win at Caledon Equestrian Park.
Keean White aboard Carrera van het Westleven Z. Photo- Ben Radvanyi Photography
Graham finished second in the class riding Kingridge Stables’ Knock Out 3E, while Ballard took third on Lauren Hough’s JOBLESSE.
The hunter rings also saw some impressive performances during the week with Omni Enkin and Blueridge Moonbeam champions in the Small pony Hunter Division. Ellah Dubeau-Kielty and Kingsland earned top honours in the Mediums.
It’s Coolman and Taylor Brooks took top prize in the Combined Working Hunter home, while Ryan Roy and CENTRAL PARK were champions in the Baby Green Hunter Division — all presented by Greenhawk Equestrian Sport. Count me In and Beth Underhill. Photo-Ben Radvanyi Photography
Ryan Roy and Central Park accepting the Championship award presented by Greenhawk Equestrian Sport. Greenhawk supported the Jump into Elation campaign at the Caledon National CSI2* providing Elation breeches to champion and reserve champion recipients throughout the week. Photo- Ben Radvanyi Photography
Jeffery Rundle and his ride, Davenport, won the Open Performance Hunter Division — also presented by Greenhawk. The Championship ribbon in the Children’s Pony Hunter Division, presented by Ride Every Stride, went to Elizabeth Parish and Cherrybrook Just Blew By.
Ride Every Stride presents Elizabeth Parish and Cherrybrook Just Blew By with the championship award for the Children's Pony Division. Photo -Mackenzie Clark for Ben Radvanyi Photography
Coming up next at Caledon Equestrian Park is the Classic at Palgrave Phase 2 CSI2* running May 23-28. Visit caledonequestrianpark.com for more details and a full schedule of events.
$35,000 FEI Open Welcome – Presented by Caledon Equestrian Park (May 19)
1. Flower / Chinook Valley & Vanessa Mannix / Conor Swail
2. Cita / Susan & Ariel Grange / Daniel Coyle
3. Carrera van het Westleven Z / Harthill Farm / Keean White
4. Count Me In / Sandy Lupton / Beth Underhill
5. Dixson / Susan & Ariel Grange / Ian Millar
$15,000 Modified Grand Prix – Presented by Caledon Equestrian Park (May 20)
1. PRINCE GARBO / Sara Tindale / Rachel Schnurr
2. Knock Out 3E / Kingsridge Stables / Hugh Graham
3. JOBLESSE / Lauren Hough / Erynn Ballard
4. Caprice / Peter Edgar / Ellicia Edgar
5. Dublin / Millar Brooke Farm / Jonathon Millar
$50,000 FEI Jumper Classic– Presented by Horseware Ireland (May 21)
1. Dixson / Susan and Ariel Grange / Ian Millar
2. Flower/ Chinook Valley & Vanessa Mannix / Conor Swail
3. Cool Down 3 / AEI Corp / Veronica Bot
4. Carimba B/ Looking Back Farm / Erynn Ballard
5. Vittorio 8/ Future Adventure/ Ian Millar