Nick Skelton on top of the world

By: Horse Deals

Nick Skelton on top of the world
Nick Skelton on top of the world

Nick Skelton OBE and Beverley Widdowson’s Big Star have been named by the FEI as the best global horse and rider combination for 2012.

Nick and Big Star led the global rankings table by 150 points from their nearest rival, the USA’s Richard Spooner and Cristallo.

Big Star, a 10 year-old KWPN stallion, has been produced by Nick since he was a novice, winning the national six-year-old-championships, and going on to be part of the Great Britain team that took the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Nick, who has consistently topped the Team GB ranking list, has been awarded this global accolade for the fourth time by the FEI. He won it with John, Pat and Lisa Hales' stallion Arko III in 2004 and again in 2011 with Carlo 273.

Nick and Carlo 273 won team and individual bronze medals for Great Britain at the 2011 European Championships in Madrid.

In 2012 Nick and Big Star took a number of major Grands Prix in Florida and across Europe in addition to representing Great Britain on Nations Cup teams en-route to the London Olympics.

Big Star’s personality captured the nation’s imagination during the London Olympics and he was depicted in a number of national newspapers as the ‘Usain Bolt of Showjumping’.

Nick Skelton commented: "I’m very pleased to have made the top spot as the leading international horse and rider once again. It is award that everyone aligned with Big Star can be proud of from Beverley Widdowson his owner, through to the support team that ensure he is always at peak performance. He is a fantastic horse, super talented, he takes on anything I ask of him and I feel incredibly fortunate to have him."

Iain Graham, Chief Executive for British Showjumping said: "To have a British owner, rider and horse top the FEI league table once again is a tremendous testament to the support the sport has in Great Britain."

"From Beverley Widdowson, who is an incredible owner for Great Britain, through to Nick himself and the support from UK Sport and the infrastructure their investment has allowed us to implement, we have shown once again that Great Britain is a nation to be reckoned with whether it be measured at Olympic podium level or across a twelve month period".

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