Big Ben - Perth, Ontario
N 44° 53.971 W 076° 15.095
18T E 401183 N 4972550
Quick Description: A big horse with a big name and a huge reputation!!!
Location: Ontario, Canada
Date Posted: 2/16/2012 6:53:15 AM
Waymark Code: WMDQVJ
This statue is located in Big Ben Park in Perth, Ontario. Big Ben and Ian Millar were and still are big in this area. He will never be forgotten and this statue and a park in his honour will assure this.
Big Ben (April 20, 1976 – December 11, 1999) was a world champion show jumping horse.
First named "Winston", Big Ben was born at the van Hooydonk Farm in Kalmthout (northern Belgium). Although his dam was only 15 hh, Big Ben grew to be a very large horse of 17.3 hands high (1.80 m). He was named Winston in honour of Winston Churchill, his great height being compared with Churchill's historical greatness. In 1983, he was sold to a farm in the Netherlands for $2000, and renamed "Big Ben." Soon after, he was purchased for Canadian equestrian Ian Millar for $45,000 and permanently relocated to Millar Brooke Farm in Perth, Ontario, Canada. Several lucrative offers were made to buy Big Ben throughout his career, but the ownership group as well as Ian Millar felt such a strong bond with him that they refused all offers.
In 1984, the horse began competing in show jumping events, touching off what would become a long and successful career. Millar rode Big Ben to more than 40 Grand Prix titles including six Spruce Meadows Derbys, as well as taking the world cup show jumping championship two years in a row - the first World Cup Final coming at Gothenburg, Sweden in 1988, and then again the next year in Tampa, Florida. In 1989 he won the Grand Prix of Bordeaux, France and the Grand Prix of Stuttgart, Germany, ranking Millar number one in the world. Millar and Big Ben also won the du Maurier International twice, in 1987 and 1991, the world's richest grand prix event at that time.
In 1992 Big Ben survived two bouts with colic and an accident in which 2 other horses died and a third became unrideable due to its injuries. A fourth would never enter a trailer again. Big Ben won a Grand Prix only 2 months later. He would also go on to win his 6th Spruce Meadows Derby in front of 50,000 spectators after much talk about his mounting injuries, which was his final derby appearance.
In 1994, after 11 years of competition, Big Ben was retired at 18 years of age to Millar Brooke Farm. On December 11, 1999, after two veterinarians informed Millar that Big Ben was suffering from a third, untreatable case of colic, he was euthanised at Millar Brooke Farm. He is buried on a knoll overlooking the farm.
n 1999, Big Ben was recognised as a Canadian icon when Canada Post honoured him with his own stamp. Big Ben was inducted into the Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame, and joined legendary thoroughbred racehorse Northern Dancer as the only other horse in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. His story is told in the book titled "Big Ben" by author, Lawrence Scanlan.
In 2000, Big Ben's personal groom, Sandi Patterson, wrote a touching tribute to Big Ben in the book titled "An Apple a Day: A Heartwarming Collection of True Horse Stories" edited by Kimberly Gatto. In 2005, the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce erected a bronze statue of Big Ben, with Ian Millar riding, in a park on the banks of the Tay River in downtown Perth, Ontario. Big Ben's image lives on as a Breyer model horse.
In 2011, a book titled Unbridled Passion: Show Jumping's Greatest Horses and Riders, written by Jeff Papows, featured Big Ben and his owner and rider, Ian Millar. The book documented the extraordinary challenges, such as the two bouts of life-threatening colic surgery, that Big Ben faced inside and outside the competitive ring. It features original research and interviews with Ian Miller and Big Ben's personal groom, Sandi Patterson.
-Won over $1.5 million in prize money
-First horse to win 2 consecutive World Cup Final titles 1988 Gothenburg and 1989 Tampa, Florida
-Team and Individual Gold medals at the 1987 Pan Am Games, Indianapolis
-Member of the 4th place Team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
-2nd World Cup Finals in 1986 Gothenburg
-5th World Cup Finals in 1987 Paris
-Member of the 4th place Team at the Show Jumping World Championships, Aachen
-Winner of Masters Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in 1987 and 1991
-Member of the 4th place Team at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul
-Winner of Grand Prix of Stuttgart 1989
-Winner of Grand Prix of Bordeaux 1989
-Canadian National Show Jumping Champion 1988, 1991 and 1993
-Won the Spruce Meadows Derby 6 times in eight years (the Chrysler Classic in '86,'87 and '89 and the Shell Cup in '91,'92 and '93)
-One of only two horses inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
The above info was garnered from wikipedia
Type of Memorial: statue
Type of Animal: service, work animal
Proof of visit is required. The easiest proof is a gps photo of the memorial. GPS photos will always be acceptable proof. Individual waymarks may ask for an alternative type of proof of visit.