That's one proud papa

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

PALGRAVE -- It was a daughter's day to shine yesterday after Amy Millar won the second stage in the $150,000 John Deere Canada Cup of Show Jumping competition in the Tournament of Champions at the Caledon Equestrian Park.

Riding Costa Rica Z, Millar beat her Olympic silver- medallist father, Ian Millar, to advance to today's final with a faultless performance completing the course in 43.735 seconds.

Ian, who has just returned from the Beijing Summer Games after leading Canada's show-jumping team to second place, was as happy as if he had won himself.

"I am so proud of her," he said. "She and (her brother) Jonathon have improved so much in the past several seasons."

Jonathon Millar, 33, finished fifth yesterday riding Fahrenheit, while Ian, 61, placed an uncharacteristic 14th on In Style.

All three, however, advance to today's jump-off.

Amy was asked if yesterday was her first win in top level competition against her dad and she smiled a huge smile, and said: "Actually, I've beaten him a few times."

She said that whatever success she has had, however, is a direct result of what her father brought to the table.

"He's been both a tremendous teacher and inspiration," Amy said. "Both Jonathon and I have benefitted beyond belief from what he has taught us."

But Amy, a 31-year-old native of Perth, Ont., also heaped a huge chunk of credit on her nine-year-old Belgian-bred mare.

"I've had (Costa Rica Z) for four years now," she said. "And she's such a wonderful horse. She just went out there (yesterday) and attacked the course straight on."

With both Amy and Jonathon now coming into their own in championship equestrian events, there was much speculation about the future of the Millar clan with regards to the London Olympics in 2012.

The joke around the paddock yesterday was that Canada's London equestrian entry could well be named Team Millar.

"Well, you know, both Amy and Jonathon and their horses are just the right age to be at their best in 2012," Ian said.

And what of his own future?

"Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see," he said.

Amy led a sweep for the women of the first four places with Erynn Ballard on Robin Van Roosendael second, Lauren Hunkin aboard Larry 0146 third and Beth Underhill on Top Gun in fourth.

The competition wraps up with today's final jump-off starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate.


Videos

Photos