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Nine National Teams Compete in 2012 BMO Nations' Cup at Spruce Meadows in Calgary

- Great Britain, 2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalists, joins eight other countries in one of only two Nations' Cup events in North America

- Canada's Ian Millar returns from London with best individual result in Olympic competition

- BMO donates $10,000 to the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association on behalf of Ian Millar



CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 4, 2012) -

Attention: Sports Editors

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.

National teams from nine countries around the world arrive in Calgary this week to compete in the 2012 BMO Nations' Cup, one of the richest team show-jumping events in the world. The event, which carries a prize of $300,000, will take place on Saturday, September 8 at Canada's premier show-jumping event, the Spruce Meadows "Masters" Tournament.

The 2012 Canadian Team, led by Chef d'équipe Terrance Millar, will include show-jumping fan favourites Ian Millar, Eric Lamaze, Mac Cone and Tiffany Foster.

"One of the key reasons for BMO's 36-year-long relationship with Spruce Meadows is our shared commitment to excellence. The Masters and the BMO Nations' Cup are first-class, highly entertaining and memorable experiences in the popular sport of equestrian show jumping," said Frank Techar, President and CEO, Personal and Commercial Banking Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Another reason is that Spruce Meadows continually strives to make this highly competitive sport accessible to everyone, which we at BMO applaud."

"The BMO Nations' Cup is a leading international event in our sport, and we're thrilled to feature the reigning Olympic, World and European Team Champions," said Spruce Meadows president, Linda Heathcott. "The fact that BMO Financial Group has been a part of the Spruce Meadows story from the start makes the competition and atmosphere truly unique."

In recognition of Ian Millar's historic tenth Olympic appearance, BMO Financial Group is making a donation on his behalf of $10,000 ($1,000 for each Olympics) to the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA), a charity with centres across Canada that promotes challenge and empowerment through horse riding for children and adults with disabilities. The donation is being presented at a reception today where a portrait of Ian Millar will be unveiled as part of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame's Canadian Sports Heroes Art Collection.

Mr. Millar said, "I am proud to be an Honourary Director of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association. As an avid equestrian myself, I understand the freedom and empowerment the horse provides for all riders with disabilities. I'm very touched that BMO would make a donation to CanTRA on my behalf."

2012 BMO Nations' Cup Teams

  1. Canada - 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2006 BMO Nations' Cup Winner.
  2. Belgium - Seeking its first BMO Nations' Cup win.
  3. France - 2011 BMO Nations' Cup Winner; 1993 BMO Nations' Cup Winner.
  4. Germany - BMO Nations' Cup Winner in 2007; reigning World and Nations Cup Top League Champions
  5. Great Britain - 2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalists; ten BMO Nations' Cup wins - more than any other country.
  6. Ireland - Three-time winners of the BMO Nations' Cup; Two European Top League Nations Cups this year.
  7. Switzerland - Seeking its first BMO Nations' Cup win; youthful team in 2012.
  8. The Netherlands - 2009 BMO Nations' Cup Winner; 2012 Olympic Team Silver Winners.
  9. United States - 2010 BMO Nations' Cup Winner, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Team Gold; looking to better their 2012 Olympic performance.

Last year a record 79,489 people attended the BMO Nations' Cup and organizers hope to surpass this number in 2012. Fans with a BMO debit or credit card can participate in the BMO Power of Blue program, which offers great client experiences during the Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament, including a chance to ride on the BMO float in Friday's Parade of Nations.

Fans are also invited to visit the BMO Fan Centre, located in the Plaza Terraces, which features the following:

  • Autographs from the best show jumping athletes in the world.
  • Have your photo taken with the BMO Nations' Cup trophy and award-winning horses.
  • Show your BMO debit card or credit card to receive a BMO Enviro Bag and other perks
  • Face painters, caricaturists, and appearances by BMO the Bear from Friday, September 7 to Sunday, September 9.
  • Enjoy the musical entertainment during the week.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

About BMO and the Equestrian Community:

As the founding sponsor of Spruce Meadows, BMO Financial Group has a long and proud history of supporting equestrian sport in Canada. This is the 35th year that BMO has sponsored the BMO Nations' Cup at Spruce Meadows, attracting the top international show jumping teams to compete in Canada. In addition, BMO has proudly sponsored Canadian Equestrian Team member, Ian Millar for over 23 years.

To view the photos associated with this release, please visit the following links:

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120905-spruce800.jpg

http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120905-Spruce2800.jpg

Media contacts:
Laurie Grant, BMO Financial Group
(604)-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia

Spruce Meadows
Melodie Wight
(403)-974-4232
melodie.wight@sprucemeadows.com