Inspiring Showjumping Olympic Gold Medalists to Retire Together

Posted by Paige Cerulli

Showjumping greats Nick Skelton and Big Star will retire together in May. 

Showjumping rider Nick Skelton announced that both he and Big Star, the stallion on whom Skelton won two Olympic gold medals, will be retiring. Skelton, 59, has been a competitor for over four decades. The pair's official retirement ceremony will take place at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 14.

"I have always stated that when Big Star finished I would too," Skelton said.

"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."

The two will certainly go out on top. Skelton has won 16 championship showjumping medals, including two Olympic golds that he won at age 54 and 58 - he's the oldest British Olympic gold medalist since 1908. Skelton suffered a broken neck in a fall in 2000, but successfully recovered and returned to competition. He's ridden top horses such as Apollo, Maybe, Hopes Are High, and Dollar Girl.

Skelton and Big Star have given us countless thrills and have certainly been one of the top showjumping pairs to watch. Skelton talks about his mount in the video below.

Big Star, a Dutch Warmblood stallion, was foaled in 2003. He and Skelton went to the London Olympics in 2012, placing 5th in the individual rankings. Big Star was named the KWPN 2012 Horse of the Year. He won many Grand Prix competitions, including the Grand Prix of Rome and the CS105* of Aachen. In 2016, Skelton and Big Star won the individual jumping gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

In addition to his showjumping career, Big Star is a stallion approved in 21 studbooks. After his retirement from showjumping, Big Star will continue his career as a stud.

We wish Nick Skelton and Big Star all the best.

Do you remember this pair's performances? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Inspiring Showjumping Olympic Gold Medalists to Retire Together