According to Horse & Hound, Nick Skelton’s ride for team gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games and for the win in this year’s Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen (Germany), the famous Big Star, is injured.
Skelton was supposed to travel to Calgary, Alberta, next week for the Spruce Meadows Masters tournament, Sept. 4-8. There, he would jump in the $1 Million CN International Grand Prix in an attempt to continue on the path toward winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Aachen was the first leg, and Geneva, Switzerland, in Decemeber is the third leg. Any rider who wins all three earns a $1 million bonus; Skelton could be in the running for a $250,000 bonus if he wins two non-consecutive legs of the three.
“This is indeed very disappointing,” Skelton said in a Spruce Meadows press release. “Big Star is one of the great horses in our sport, and I looked forward to returning to Spruce Meadows to compete with him. I have had great success at Spruce Meadows through the years, including four ‘Masters’ grand prix wins. A fifth win would have certainly been a highlight in this first year of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
“The welfare of the horse is always paramount,” Skelton continued. “Despite our best efforts, Big Star will not be able to compete at Spruce Meadows at the ‘Masters’. He sustained an injury at home in August and has not responded to treatment as we had hoped. Our focus now is to manage his recuperation very carefully and patiently.”
Big Star, owned by Gary and Beverley Widdowson, has developed a small splint injury; it is unknown how long he will be out of competition.