Ian Millar wins CP International at Spruce Meadows
67-year-old Canadian legend outshines 20-year-old Reed Kessler in jump-off
Ten-time Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., won the $1.5-million CP International on Sunday to close out the Spruce Meadows Masters tournament.
Millar's win came a day after Canada's show-jumping team of Ben Asselin, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze and Millar claimed the $300,000 Nations' Cup for Canada's second win in the event's 38-year history.
On Sunday, Millar stepped into the spotlight solo.
Riding Dixson, owned by Susan Grange and her daughter, Aerial, Millar produced two faultless rounds over the tracks.
Millar, 67, forced a jump-off with 20-year-old Reed Kessler of the United States after a second clear round. Kessler, riding her 2012 Olympic mount Cylana, jumped clear in a time of 49.50 seconds before Millar guided Dixson to a clear round in 47.33 seconds to take the win.
"I can honestly tell you that I never thought I would win this Grand Prix again," said Millar, who claimed victory in 1987 and 1991.
"It was a long time ago and the sport has changed so much. I'm a little more mature than I was and these young people go plenty fast and they know all the tricks.
"They are really, really good. I have the greatest admiration for my fellow riders. To go up against them is no easy task."
'A heck of a payday'
Millar is ranked third on the all-time money won list at Spruce Meadows behind Eric Lamaze and Beezie Madden, with career earnings totalling more than $3.5 million.
"The afternoon just seems to fly by," Millar said. "It's like a blur, it happens so fast, the tension is incredible.
"To me, it is the most prestigious Grand Prix in the world. It's a heck of a payday.
"It's just a thrill. It is beyond words."
Congratulations Captain Canada! <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamMillar">@TeamMillar</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/RolexGrandSlam">@RolexGrandSlam</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CanadianPacific">@CanadianPacific</a> <a href="http://t.co/qmNxS8TBCB">pic.twitter.com/qmNxS8TBCB</a>—@Spruce_Meadows