Big Ben Dies At 23

Big Ben, Canada's most famous show jumping horse, died early Saturday, Dec. 11, from colic. He was 23.

Big Ben, ridden for over a decade by Ian Millar of Perth, came down with colic around 6 p.m. EST on Friday. He was euthanized in order to stop the suffering.

Millar, who was in Toronto on Friday, travelled to Perth Saturday and arrived at Millar Brooke Farm an hour before Big Ben's death.

"You look back on his life and things come to mind about the impact he had on people," said Millar. "And it was not just the people that were close to him, but also the people from afar, and not just while he was competing, but he continued to have that impact long after he retired."

With Millar aboard, Big Ben won two World Cup titles, two Pan American Games gold medals and appeared in three Olympic Games. He is one of two animals, thoroughbred Northern Dancer being the other, to be inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Big Ben retired from competition in 1994 following a national farewell tour.

He will be buried at Millar Brooke Farm.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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