Royal Windsor Horse Show is honoured to announce that 2016 Olympic Individual Gold Medallist, Nick Skelton has chosen to officially retire, along with his Olympic horse Big Star, at Royal Windsor Horse Show on Sunday 14 May 2017.
A true legend of the sport, Nick Skelton’s show jumping career has spanned four decades and includes seven Olympic Games and 20 championship medals. Since his first international championship in 1973, Skelton has consistently remained at the top of his game with the ultimate highlight being his most recent success at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where he secured an Individual Gold Medal with his stallion Big Star.
Skelton has also been credited with one of the greatest comebacks of all time after a fall in 2000 left him with serious injuries, including a broken neck, and forced him into early retirement. However, Skelton defied the odds to recover and made a courageous decision to start competing again. Skelton’s story captured the hearts of those who witnessed his victory at the Olympics, with the tear-jerking gold medal podium moment voted one of the highlights of the Games. The British public showed their support and respect for Skelton’s achievement by voting for him to take third place in the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Big Star, owned by Gary & Beverley Widdowson, has been partnered by Skelton since he was bought as a five-year-old. Big Star has helped Skelton to win two Olympic Gold Medals, numerous major Grand Prix titles and consistently delivered clear rounds for Great Britain in Nations Cup competitions. The fourteen-year-old stallion will be officially retired on the Sunday of Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Castle Arena in front of HM The Queen.
Royal Windsor Horse Show, Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward spoke of the decision; “Nick Skelton is not only a legend of equestrian sport but of the whole sporting world. What he has achieved in his career is remarkable and we are honoured he has chosen Royal Windsor Horse Show as the place to officially retire along with Big Star.