Big Ben Project : For the Love of a Horse
Ontario Canada, where Ian Millar makes his home, is making an
effort to honour one of Canadas most successful pairs in
sport and arguably, the greatest team in Equestrian history.
and his late mount Big Ben, the 17.3 hh Belgium Warmblood who
died in December 1999 at the age of 23, won the hearts of fans
the world over and made their mark in the Equestrian world. They
appeared in the Olympics together three times and won two gold
medals at the Pan Am Games The pair had 5 consecutive top eight
world cup finishes, including back to back titles in 1988 and
1989, and they took home more than 40 Grand Prix victories. Millar
and Ben won the Derby at Spruce meadows six times in eight years;
they represented Canada in more than 30 Nations Cups and they
won the worlds richest Grand Prix twice, the Du Maurier
International. It is believed Big Ben was the first North American
show jumper to win more than $1.5 million in prize money.
Chamber of Commerce has launched a project to erect 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.
The life-size statue will depict Ian and Ben in full flight over
a 5-and-a-half foot jump - a lasting tribute to the pair and the
sport, not far from Millars home and Bens final resting
is hoping horse enthusiasts across the country and around the
world will support this effort to immortalize the team. There
are three ways to contribute to the project, which will cost close
to $200,000. The first is through a straight donation to the Perth
and District Chamber of Commerce. Tax receipts will be provided
for donations of $10 or more, and any contribution of $300 or
more will be recognized by name, close to the statue.
there are 500 stunning full-colour portraits of Big Ben, photographed
by well known photographer Larry Ostrom. Ostrom headed the Art
Gallery of Ontarios photography department for 10 years,
has dozens of gallery and corporate clients, taught at the university
and college levels, and has been featured in numerous collections
and publications. The Big Ben portraits are available for $500
10 breathtaking bronze castings, working models of the final masterpiece,
are being created. The models measure 31 inches long and 28 inches
high including the base. Sculptor John Matthews will keep one,
leaving nine for sale at $30,000 each. Matthews studied at the
Banff School of Art, Doons School of Arts in Ontario and
Mount Allison University, getting his start in sculpture in New
York. For 8 years he served as the assistant of renowned artist
Henry Moore in England.
Ben Park memorabilia; Saddlepads, T-shirts, Ball caps, Big Ben
books, and videos (A Glance at Greatness) are all available
through the web site at heritageperth.ca
Click on Big Ben.
more information or to support the project, contact:
Perth and District Chamber of Commerce by telephone at (613) 267-3200;
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tony Hendriks, Big
Ben Park Committee