Nick Skelton and Big Star during the Olympic Individual Final. Ph. Erin Gilmore
Horse & Hound broke the news on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 that Olympic gold medalists Nick Skelton and Big Star will retire from the sport of show jumping. Their official retirement ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 14, 2017 at the Royal Windsor Horse Show CSI5*.
“I have always stated that when Big Star finished I would too,” Skelton told Horse & Hound. This sport has given me more than I could ever have 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.”
That high note included Individual Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 14-year-old KWPN stallion owned by Gary and Beverley Widdowson was brought back from injury to claim individual gold, four years after earning Olympic team gold for Great Britain at the London Games.
Skelton himself closes the book on a legendary career—among his many honors are 16 championship medals that include the 1995 World Cup Final title with Dollar Girl, and the 2013 Grand Prix of Aachen title aboard Big Star.
Big Star will now retire to enjoy the relaxed life of a breeding stallion from Skelton’s home base in the United Kingdom. Skelton will hang up his competition boots, but continues to run a busy training yard in the UK and Wellington, Florida with his partner Laura Kraut.