Nick Skelton & Big Star in Rio
CHI Geneva released a statement this afternoon announcing the withdrawal of Olympic Gold medalist combination Nick Skelton and Big Star from competition at the CHI Geneva CSI5* starting December 8th-11th, due to a sprained fetlock.
Wanting to avoid any risk to the 13-year-old stallion, Skelton has decided to rest Big Star for six weeks meaning that the Olympic champions will also miss the London International Horse Show at Olympia next week from December 13th-19th.
In a statement to Horse & Hound Skelton said: “We are all extremely disappointed that he will not be making his presence felt at both these shows but trust everyone understands that his welfare is paramount.”
Show organizers and spectators alike will surely miss a chance to see this legendary pair stake a claim on the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping but will have to settle for wathcing the Big Star in action when he returns to competition at the start of next year.
Able to be ridden and exercised lightly, Skelton and Big Star’s owners, Gary and Beverley Widdowson, have hopes to still have the Quick Star stallion make an appearance at the parade of Olympic medalists at Olympia that takes place on the Friday, December 16th.
Although unable to attend the third equestrian major at the Palexpo in Geneva, Skelton still dreams of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping:
“That’s my ultimate goal with Big Star. I’m hoping to start my winning run next July at Aachen (where Big Star won the Rolex Grand Slam Grand Prix in 2013) and to sew it up in December 2017 at Geneva,” Skelton conluded.
Teammate and long-time friend, Michael Whitaker will replace Skelton at Geneva completing the Great Britain contingent in Switzerland alongside Scott Brash and Robert Whitaker.