Mary Evalyn Millar
Mary Evalyn “Lynn” Millar, wife of Canada’s show jumping icon Ian Millar, died on March 6 after a long illness at the family’s Millar Brooke Farm in Perth, Ontario.
Although Mrs. Millar played a quiet, behind-the-scenes role in the sport, she was an outstanding horsewoman and an integral part of Ian’s success.
She played a fundamental role in developing the top-class training facility at Millar Brooke Farm and in the training of the horses.
She was a devoted mother of Jonathon, 33, and Amy, 31, who, with their father, were by her side in the final weeks of her life.
After her marriage to Ian in 1969, Mrs. Millar attended or assisted with the training for eight Olympic Games, eight Pan American Games and six World Championships, as well as seeing Ian set the record as the first rider to win back-to-back World Cup Finals.
She also stood by his side as he received the Order of Canada and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
“This has been a long battle and is a very, very sad, tragic day for us,” said Ian. “I would love more than anything to have Lynn by my side if I am asked to ride at this year’s Olympic Games [in August in Hong Kong]. Amy, Jonathon and I will move forward. That is the only way Lynn would want it.”
Mrs. Millar was extremely proud of the recent achievements of Jonathon and Amy in the sport of show jumping Jonathon finished runner-up to his father in the last Canadian Show Jumping Championship, and Amy is on the Canadian Equestrian Team short-list following the 2007 season.
Canadian show jumper Mac Cone, who has known the family for more than 30 years, said Mrs. Millar was the backbone for her famous husband.
“Through the good times and the bad, Lynn was always there, and she was one tough horsewoman,” Cone said. “We all loved her and we all miss her.”
Survivors include her husband and children; brother Hugh Doran; and sister-in-law Jean Millar McGregor.
Memorial donations may be made to the Great War Memorial Hospital Foundation, 33 Drummond St. W., Perth ON K7H 2K1 or the Canadian Cancer Society, 105 Dufferin Square, Perth ON K7H 3A5.