At age 58, top international show jumper, Nick Skelton is the second oldest Briton to have won Olympic Gold with his fantastic equine partner Big Star. In a news interview shortly after the win Nick said “I am not going to stop now. I only ride Big Star at the moment. When he stops I stop.”
Nick has an impressive riding career, spanning over four decades and winning thousands of classes, hundreds of Grand Prix' events, and over £6.5m in prize money.
Nick was born in Bedworth Warwickshire in 1957. Nick started horse riding, so it is said, when he was just 18 months old, on a Welsh mountain pony called Oxo. He went on to win his first major competition, the Junior European Championships back in 1975.
Even allowing for the commonly long careers in equestrian sport, Nick’s is a singular achievement. Particularly if one considers that he made a miraculous return to horse riding in 2002, after what was believed to have been a career-ending injury. In 2000, he broke his C1 vertebra in two places and snapped a ligament which tore away a piece of his spine in a fall at a show in Cheshire. He was told after the accident that he would not be able to drive again, let alone ride.
But Nick was to go on to compete in the 2004 Beijing Olymics and was a member of the gold medal-winning team at the London 2012 Olympics. The rest is history for the veteran sportsman who was short-listed for the UK Sports Personality of the Year in 2016.
Nick holds the British record for jumping the highest fence when he cleared over 7’7” on Lastic in 1979. He has also won five World Championship medals and nine European Championship medals.
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