Olympic Champion Big Star retired
Yesterday, Olympic Champion Nick Skelton announced his retirement from international competitions. The Brit is 59 years old, and with his retirement, that also means his once-in-a-lifetime horse and Olympic mount Big Star, the KWPN-recognized son of Quick Star, will be retired as well.
After more than 40 years as an international rider, Nick Skelton calls it a day. Last year he managed to reach the ultimate highlight of his career, he won the individual gold medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with the KWPN-recognized stallion Big Star (Quick Star out of Jolanda sport-spr prest by Nimmerdor, breeder Cees Klaver from Schoorl). Four years earlier, the phenomenal pair already won team gold at the London Olympics. Horse and rider will celebrate their official retirement at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Sunday May 14th. “After months of thinking and considering, I have made the decision to retire both myself and Big Star from the sport. Despite the fact that there were many people, including my own family, who were looking forward on seeing Big Star competing again this year. But Big Star has made everything a rider could wish for a reality, and it is now time to relax and for him to only be used as a sire”, Skelton announced.
Stop at the peak
Not only for Nick Skelton but also for his breeder Cees Klaver, Big Star meant a lot: “This decision doesn’t come as a complete surprise. It is nice that he can stop at the peak of his career. In competitions it couldn’t get any better with two golden Olympic medals in the pocket”, the breeder says. “For me as a breeder I would rather have seen him competing in top-sport a bit longer, like Taloubet who is still winning at age 17. Better publicity is not possible for a breeder! Often people tend to forget about a horse when it is no longer competing. But I don’t think I have to worry about that with Big Star. He is and stays a phenomenon!"
Fulltime into breeding
Next year, Cees Klaver expects three foals of the KWPN recognized stallion. “And besides that, I of course have the Big Star-son, Big Star junior, who is doing really well at 1.45m level. In type, his son breeds a bit more consistent than his dad, but they both give good jumpers. I am looking forward to welcome the foals from Big Star again this year. “
JS/YBF for KWPN