Even in retirement, Big Star remained the flashpoint of attention in Great Britain, at Bolesworth International CSI4* on Friday, June 16, 2017. As the sky turned to dusk and Bolesworth’s Elite Auction kicked off after a puissance competition, the night shone, both under the packed VIP tent, and in the arena as the next generation of show jumping stars were brought out one by one.
Of 19 auction lots, the standout, record-breaking sale was a colt foal by the great Big Star, out of Billy Twomey’s superstar mare Tinka’s Serenade. Sold for £92,000, the four-month old foal-named Tinka’s Star was the high seller among an evening of strong bids. Lot 5, another Big Star progeny, sold for £28,000, and an embryo that has half-sibling bloodlines to the great Hello Sanctos, sold for £24,000.
With every sold horse, show organizer Nina Barbour presented a sparkling bottle of champagne to the new owners, while performers added extra buzz to the evening.
The buzz started before the puissance began, when the rare right of Nick Skelton riding Big Star, and accompanied by Skelton’s former champion Arko III paraded in the main arena. Both the recently retired Big Star, and 23-year-old stallion Arko III were in top form. At one point, Big Star locked on to the puissance wall and made like he was going to jump it—Skelton pulled him off the line with smile. Those days are over for both Big Star and Skelton, but there’s no telling what the future will bring with the next generation of little “stars!” See below for photos of Big Star and Arko III in the main arena at Bolesworth: