2001 KWPN bay gelding (Quick Star x Calvados/ Sable Rose)
Owned by Team Works
Star Power was purchased by the Team Works syndicate in 2010 with one goal in mind: The London Olympics. “He’s a freak of nature,” says Ian Millar. “He has unbelievable athletic ability—he’s fast, agile, powerful. He can do things that most horses can’t. And he really, really wants to leave the jumps up.”
But the partnership nearly didn’t come to fruition. Searching for an Olympic prospect, Ian scoured the European countryside with longtime associates Paul and Emile Hendrix of Stal Hendrix in Holland. “We looked all over. Every horse we saw, the asking price was one million euro and the quality didn’t justify the price tag,” says Ian.
The day before Ian was to return to Canada, Emile found a horse in Italy. “I was pretty discouraged at that point and didn’t relish the idea of flying from Holland to Italy and back again the day before flying home,” recalls Ian.
Emile insisted and the rest, as they say, is history. “I knew as soon as I got on him that he was the one,” says Ian. “It was an unbelievable feeling.”
At the time, the Dutch-bred gelding was showing at the National level under the name Uranus. “He had a great show record, very consistent. But he’s a strong character. They were hesitant to ask him do anything he didn’t like and there was a whole laundry list of things he didn’t like,” he laughs.
Renaming the horse “Star Power” in a nod to his diva temperament, Ian spent the entire first year working on the horse’s cooperation skills and rideability. “We didn’t focus on the jumps at all. That part he did spectacularly. It was the rest of it; building the partnership,” he says.
“He’s been one of the more difficult horses to train, but also one of the most talented. It’s a good thing he loves to show and jump, because it’d be awfully difficult to make him do it if he didn’t want to!”
Star Power has progressed to be one of the most consistent horses in the International ring. In 2011, he logged five Grand Prix victories and 18 top-five finishes, posting clear rounds in 74% of his starts. His 2012 season was highlighted by second place finishes in the $500,000 Winter Equestrian Festival Grand Prix in Wellington, FL and the Nations Cup of Belgium. In 2013, he recorded 13 top five finishes.
“There is nothing the course designer can ask that Star Power can’t do,” says Ian.
FEI Results at this link.