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Home: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Born: March 4, 1984
A quintessential horse-crazy kid, they were all Kelly Soleau-Millar could talk about from an early age. It took perseverance but, after visiting more farms than they could count, Kelly’s mom finally found an instructor willing to take on a two-year-old! Her first pony, Sweet Dreams, was purchased when Kelly was three and, despite being told that the pony would only walk and trot, she persevered and found a way to make him canter.
Her mother spent her weekends taking Kelly and Sweet Dreams to various horse shows where they started out in the leadline classes before advancing to the walk-trot and short-stirrup divisions. By the time Kelly was nine, she had qualified for the prestigious Washington International Horse Show where she and Farnley Beeware were the only pony entry competing in the Children’s Hunter division.
When Kelly was ready for the Children’s Jumper division, they imported a horse from Switzerland, naming it Vonderheyde after her father’s family. Together, Kelly and Vonderheyde claimed the 1998 national championship title in the Marshall & Sterling League. She also qualified for the major Equitation Finals for three years with Heart’s On Fire, who did double-duty with Kelly in the Junior Hunter divisions.
Kelly represented U.S. Zone 1 at the North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship on five occasions. In her first appearance, she leased Kinders Lucky Charm for the week and won the Junior division Farewell competition. In 2003, she enjoyed a top-ten finish individually in the Young Riders’ division with Master Man, her partner of 11 seasons. Starting in the Low Junior Jumper division, Master Man carried Kelly all the way to her first World Cup Grand Prix, as well as her debut in the International ring at Calgary’s iconic Spruce Meadows. Credited for being the biggest part of her career to date, Master Man is currently enjoying a well-deserved retirement at Millar Brooke Farm.
With another special mount, Centre Ice, Kelly celebrated victory in the $20,000 RAM Equestrian Grand Prix in 2014 in Palgrave, ON. Kelly and her now-husband, Jonathon Millar, were the only two people to qualify for the jump-off, with Jonathon riding his father’s 2012 Olympic mount, Star Power. Having previously part-owned Centre Ice, Kelly’s father bought the horse for her solely shortly before his passing, making their win together both memorable and bittersweet.
Kelly enjoyed many top-ten placings in 2017 including sixth place in the $86,600 1.60m Grand Prix CSI3* aboard Cacharel, second place with Itty Bitty in the $36,000 1.45m Sunday Classic CSI3*, both at Angelstone The Champions, in Ontario. She also placed seventh in the $86,000 Caledon Cup – Phase III, CSI2* at the Canadian Showjumping Tournament in Ontario, again with Itty Bitty.
In 2018, Kelly made her Nations’ Cup debut for Team USA in Coapexpan, Mexico aboard Cacharel, helping the team to a second place finish.
In December of 2015, Kelly married her long-time partner, Jonathon Millar in Key West, Florida. Competing as a professional, Kelly works full-time as the manager of Millar Brooke Farm in Perth, Ontario. She continues to ride for her family’s farm, Bridge Brook Arms, founded by her parents, Mary Christine and Robert Soleau, with bases in Connecticut and Wellington, FL.