Nick Skelton and Big Star bid an emotional farewell

Images supplied courtesy of British Showjumping
Photos supplied courtesy of British Showjumping

Both emotions and tears flowed all too easily across the packed grandstands at Royal Windsor Horse Show this afternoon when Rio 2016 Individual Gold medallists, Nick Skelton and Big Star, formally retired from competition in front of British Showjumping Patron, Her Majesty The Queen.

The historic backdrop of Windsor Castle, couldn’t been more fitting a venue for the emotionally charged final appearance of the legendary horse & rider combination who won Great Britain their very first Individual Gold medal for the sport of showjumping last summer. 

Nick, who began riding at just 18 months old on a Welsh pony called Oxo, fought back tears as he brought to a close his long and illustrious career that has seen him appear in excess of a hundred and seventy Nations Cup teams, hold the British high jump record for when he cleared 7ft 7ins on Lastic in 1978, three Hickstead Derby wins in the 1980’s, ten European and six World Championship medals plus a World Cup title. Not to mention being part of the Olympic gold medal winning team at the 2012 London Olympics with Big Star before he achieved his penultimate dream of becoming the first British Showjumping Olympic Individual Gold Medallist in Rio 2016.

Images supplied courtesy of British Showjumping

When Nick won Gold at Rio last summer he was embraced by both the public and media at a global level as, at the age of 58 years, his win inspired generations that it is never too late to follow your sporting dreams.  His win was nothing short of miraculous when you consider he had returned to competition after sustaining a broken neck following a fall in September 2000 and his success over adversity really endeared him to the nation.  Since his return to riding Nick has also had a hip replacement and knee operation, but none of this deterred him from securing the ultimate dream of an Olympic Individual Gold medal with the incredible Big Star whom he had produced from a novice.

Regarding his returning to riding after his injury Nick commented “Back in 2000 when I had that accident surgeons told me I should never ride again but after two years of not competing I was feeling lost and I didn’t know what to do so I got back riding again and lucky I did! I have no regrets about it, when I think about what I have achieved it proves I made the right decision.”

This excerpt is from the British Showjumping press release. Read the full article here:


http://www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/media/news/nick-skelton-and-big-star-bid-an-emotional-farewell 

Nick Skelton and Big Star will retire next month

Royal Windsor Horse Show (10th – 14th May), will see Nick Skelton and Big Star formally retire in the Castle Arena on Sunday 14th May.

Announcing their retirement Nick, who won Team Gold at London 2012 and Individual Gold at Rio 2016 with Big Star owned by Gary & Beverley Widdowson commented “It has come to a point, after months of thought and consideration, that myself and my partner Big Star have decided to retire from competition.

“Although there are many people, including my family, Gary and Beverley and my  team that were looking forward to us carrying on this year, we feel that Big Star has done everything that a rider could ask and it is time for him to relax and enjoy his stallion duties. 

“As for myself, I have always stated that when Big Star was finished I would be as well. This sport has given me more than I could have ever hoped over the past 43 years and it is such a difficult decision to make, but I'm not getting any younger and it is nice for the two of us to end on the highest note possible.

“Thank you to all of the incredible friends and fans for your support, we are truly appreciative and humbled. Thank you to all of my owners and sponsors throughout my career, I couldn't have done it without you. And lastly, thank you to all of the horses I've ridden, you have provided me with opportunities one could never have imagined”

The retirement will take place during the afternoon of Sunday 14th May and further detail will be released shortly.

For more information, visit -

http://www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/media/news/olympic-gold-medallists-nick-skelton-cbe-and-big-star-to-retire-at-royal-windsor-horse-show

Nick Skelton CBE appointed Patron of Socks & Chocs Charity

Nick Skelton has proudly accepted the role of Patron for the West Midlands based Charity Socks & Chocs, which was formed in 2007 by ex armed serviceman and retired police officer Ian Northcott, to relieve hardship and distress among homeless people and those in need who are living in adverse housing conditions.

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Third place for Nick Skelton in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016

Thank you to everyone who voted. What an amazing year it has been.

1. Andy Murray
2. Alistair Brownlee
3. Nick Skelton

Nick SPOTY 2016

Nick is a contender for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016

Nick Skelton is one of the 16 contenders vying to be be BBC's Sports Personality of the Year 2016.

The winer be announced live on the show which airs on Sunday 18th December at 6:40pm.

Follow the link below to cast your vote:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/sports-personality/38135745 

Big Star News Flash

Big Star frozen semen is available to purchase before the 2017 season by the straw! This outstanding show jumping stallion has the gold standard in both his performance and in his frozen semen. With 87% of mares in foal in 2016 over the first cycle from full breeding dose insemination, you can be sure that you're giving your mare the best chance of a pregnancy from frozen semen. Contact Stallion AI Services now to place your order, while stocks last! Semen available in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and coming soon to USA.

Big Star Semen Available

Nick Skelton and Big Star win Gold in Rio

Nick and Big Star have won Individual Gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games!

In a thrilling three round competition culminating in a six horse jump off Nick and Big Star were one of only two combinations to go clear, beating Peder Fredericton and All In against the clock to claim Gold. Canada's Eric Lamaze took bronze with the fastest four fault round.

At 58 Nick is the second oldest Briton to win Olympic Gold. In a post ceremony interview Nick said "“I am not going to stop now. I only ride Big Star at the moment. When he stops, I will stop. For definite. I have been in the sport a long time. I am so happy – it was amazing. I was just emotional on the podium because I am so happy with what I’ve done. To do it now is unbelievable. It is pretty emotional for all concerned.”

Nick Skelton and Big Star Olympic ChampionsPhotograph courtesy of PA: Press Association

Big Star in the ring

Vilamoura 1st October 2015 - Big Star's first time in the ring after a 16 month break.

 

Big Star back in action!

Here is Big Star loading onto the horsebox for his journey down to Vilamoura in Portugal, they left at the end of last week.  And today Big Star jumped clear in his first competition back after his lay-off.  

Big Star loading to go to Villamoura website

Nick Skelton Collaborates with EQUILINE Srl to Develop A New Signature Saddle

Nicholas David Skelton is a world-renowned show jumping rider whose career has spanned nearly 38 years, winning thousands of classes and hundreds of Grand Prix' events. He began riding at age 18 months and in 1974 and 1975 took two team silver medals and an individual gold at the Junior European Championships. He has competed numerous times at the European Show Jumping Championships, winning three gold, three silver and three bronze medals both individually and with the British team over the course of 26 years. At the age of 54, Skelton won an Olympic gold medal as part of the victorious Great Britain show jumping team at the London Olympics in front of his home crowd. In 2013 he won the prestigious Grand Prix of Aachen aboard Big Star.

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