2009 BMO Nations' Cup Welcomes Ten Nations to Spruce Meadows, Calgary



    SPRUCE MEADOWS (CALGARY) AB, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - One of the richest team
show-jumping events in the world, the $350,000 BMO Nations' Cup, will take
place on Saturday, September 12, at Canada's premier show-jumping event, the
Spruce Meadows "Masters" Tournament.
    Olympic Team Silver Medalist, Ian Millar, has been BMO Financial Group's
corporate equestrian advisor and all-round ambassador since 1988 and will once
again captain Team Canada in the BMO Nations' Cup.
    Canada is well-prepared to take on the world's show jumping power nations
and attempt to reclaim their 2006 BMO Nations' Cup title. The 2009 Canadian
Team will have veterans Beth Underhill and John Anderson joining Millar and
Olympic champion Eric Lamaze.
    "It's been a spectacular season for Canada's show jumpers and the BMO
Nations' Cup promises to be an exciting competition in Calgary," said Bill
Downe, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. "BMO is
proud to host Canada's premiere equestrian competition and bring the world's
finest riders and horses to Calgary."

    
    The roster of national teams invited to compete includes:
    -   Canada - 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and BMO Nations' Cup Winner
        2006.
    -   Germany - BMO Nations' Cup Winners 2003, 2004 and 2007 and 2009
        winner of the Royal International at Hickstead Nations Cup in Great
        Britain.
    -   Great Britain - Ten BMO Nations' Cup wins - more than any other
        country.
    -   Ireland - Three-time winners of the BMO Nations' Cup.
    -   Italy - 2009 Nations Cup Champions at CSIO Dublin. Seeking their
        first BMO Nations' Cup win.
    -   Mexico - Seeking their first BMO Nations' Cup win.
    -   Norway - 2008 Olympic Team Bronze Medalists. Second year at the BMO
        Nations' Cup.
    -   Switzerland - Seeking their first BMO Nations' Cup win.
    -   The Netherlands - Reigning World Champions and Gold Medal Winners at
        2007 European Championships.
    -   United States - 2004 and 2008 Olympic Champions.
    

    The BMO Nations' Cup is a highlight of the FEI Nations Cup season. This
year the invited nations represent the top countries from the 2008 Olympic
Games and the 2006 World Equestrian Games.
    The event is held over two rounds with each team fielding four riders.
Teams keep their best three scores to count with only the top six nations
making the cut to advance to the second round.
    "Spruce Meadows is honoured to host North America's only five star
Nations Cup. On the 100th anniversary of Nations Cup competition, this is
surely going to be one of the most memorable competitions in our sport this
year," says Spruce Meadows president, Linda Heathcott. "This year will be very
special for me personally as I had the opportunity in the past to ride in the
BMO Nations' Cup with each member of the 2009 Canadian Team roster."
    The BMO Nations' Cup has established itself firmly on the world sport
calendar over the last three decades. It's an opportunity each September for
Canadians to enjoy the world's best international show jumping at one of the
sport's most famous venues. Each year the event attracts upwards of 50,000
fans and hundreds of thousands of viewers across Canada on CBC Sports.

    BMO in Alberta
    With over 2,700 employees and 96 BMO Bank of Montreal branches in
Alberta, BMO provides financing to more than 27,000 small businesses. BMO
annually demonstrates its commitment to be an active corporate citizen in the
community through numerous donations, including major gifts to the University
of Alberta, SAIT and the Alberta Children's Hospital. BMO is the founding
sponsor of the Spruce Meadows equestrian facility and annually sponsors the
BMO Nations' Cup. For more about BMO Financial Group, visit www.bmo.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Meghan Chevrette-McIvor, Spruce
Meadows, meghan.cmcivor@sprucemeadows.com, (403) 974-4232 (office); Laurie
Grant, BMO Financial Group, laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596 (office),
(604) 318-0735 (mobile)


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