Big Ben Park
For the Love of a Horse
Perth, Ontario, where Ian Millar makes his home, is honouring one of Canada’s most successful partnerships in Canadian sport and arguably the greatest team in equestrian history. Millar and Big Ben, the 17.3hh Belgian Warmblood who died in December 1999 at age 23, won the hearts of a nation and made their mark in the equestrian world.
- Three Olympic appearances
- Two gold medals at Pan American Games
- Five consecutive top eight World Cup finishes including the first back to back wins in 1988 and 1989
- More than 40 grand prix victories
- Six derby wins in eight years at Spruce Meadows Nationals
- Represented Canada in more than 30 Nation’s Cups
- Won the world’s richest grand prix twice; the du Maurier International
- Big Ben is believed to be the first North American show jumper to win more than $1.5 million in prize money
- Millar and Big Ben inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
As a lasting tribute, the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce has committed to erecting an arresting bronze statue of Millar and Big Ben in a picturesque park setting along the banks of the Tay River in beautiful downtown Perth, not far from Millar’s home and Ben’s final resting place. The life-size statue will depict Ian and Ben in full flight over a 5 and-a-half foot jump.
Sculptor Stewart Smith
has created a stunning likeness of Big Ben in the Maquette below
This Maquette of Big Ben (working model) is the basis of the life size monument.
In it’s present state it is about 75% of the way there, which we felt was enough to develope
the life size from. It is actually about 14 inches long.