2008 BMO Nations' Cup Welcomes Olympic Medalists to Spruce Meadows



    
    World's richest team show jumping event will be an exciting match up
    following the 2008 Beijing Games and Canada's Silver Medal
    

    SPRUCE MEADOWS, AB, Sept. 2 /CNW/ - The richest team show jumping event
in the world, the $350,000 BMO Nations' Cup, takes place on Saturday,
September 6, at Canada's premier show jumping event, the Spruce Meadows
Masters Tournament near Calgary, Alberta. Olympic Silver Medalist, Ian Millar,
has been BMO's corporate equestrian advisor and all-round ambassador since
1988.
    "In the wake of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Canada's Silver Medal in
the team jumping competition, this year's event should be more exciting than
ever," said Bill Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial
Group. "We are privileged to have such an impressive roster of international
teams competing at the BMO Nations' Cup, and show jumping fans, including all
of us at BMO, will be treated to a feast of equestrian prowess."

    
    The roster of national teams includes:
    -   Canada - 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and BMO Nations' Cup Winner in
        2006.
    -   Germany - BMO Nations' Cup Winners in 2003, 2004 and 2007.
    -   Great Britain - Ten BMO Nations' Cup wins - more than any other
        country - and Bronze Medal Winners at 2007 European Championships.
    -   Ireland - Three-time winners of the BMO Nations' Cup, including back-
        to-back victories in 2000 and 2001.
    -   Italy - Have never before won the BMO Nations' Cup.
    -   Norway - Making its BMO Nations' Cup debut.
    -   Switzerland - Have never before won the BMO Nations' Cup.
    -   The Netherlands - Gold Medal Winners at 2007 European Championships
        and 2006 World Equestrian Games.
    -   United States - 2004 and 2008 Olympic Champions and six-time BMO
        Nations' Cup Winners.
    

    The BMO Fan Centre, located in the Plaza Terraces, is being launched to
create a more thrilling fan experience. Fans can visit the BMO Fan Centre
between September 3 and 7 to meet Ian Millar, Eric Lamaze and other
competitors, obtain an autograph, receive a BMO Nations' Cup Team Canada flag,
and have their photo taken with the BMO Nations' Cup trophy and horses.
Visitors to the BMO Fan Centre can also enter for a chance to win 10,000 AIR
MILES reward miles.
    As the founding sponsor of Spruce Meadows, BMO Financial Group has a long
and proud history of supporting equestrian sport in Canada. Since 1977, BMO
has sponsored the BMO Nations' Cup at Spruce Meadows, attracting the top
international show jumping teams to Canada.


    Background:
    Canada is well-prepared to take on the nations and attempt to reclaim
their 2006 BMO Nations' Cup win. The 2008 Canadian Team will be comprised of
the newly crowned 2008 Individual Olympic Champion, Eric Lamaze of Schomberg,
Ontario, and his Silver Medal teammates, nine-time Olympian Ian Millar of
Perth, Ontario, and Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ontario. Calgary's own
Jonathan Asselin, the Olympic team traveling alternate, will join Canada in
its quest for victory.
    The roster of teams contesting North America's only five-star Nations'
Cup includes medal winners from the recent 2008 Olympic Games as well as the
2007 European Championships. Last year at Spruce Meadows, Germany and The
Netherlands forced a jump-off for the victory with the title going to the
Germans for the seventh time. Those two countries will face stiff opposition
this year from the United States, the Olympic Champions for the second
consecutive time, and Canada, who challenged the Americans for the Team Gold
Medal in a dramatic jump-off.
    The British will have something to prove after failing to finish a team
at the Olympics, and will be hoping to lengthen its lead from 10 victories to
a record 11. Ireland, Italy, Norway and Switzerland will all be looking to
have their names added to the BMO Nations' Cup record books for the first
time.





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Lucie Gosselin, BMO Financial
Group, lucie.gosselin@bmo.com, (514) 240-5361 (cell); Jennifer Ward, Starting
Gate Communications, jward@startinggate.ca, (613) 292-5439 (cell); Meghan
Chevrette-McIvor, Spruce Meadows, meghan.cmcivor@sprucemeadows.com, (403)
974-4232 (office)

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