​Big Star is set to be out of action for a year, following the recurrence of a leg injury.

Nick Skelton and the 11-year-old stallion finished third in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Estoril a fortnight ago, but Big Star was later found to have torn his lower suspensory.

“I thought he was back and he felt as good as ever in Estoril,” Nick told H&H. “It’s just really annoying. We’ll see what we have to do to get him back but it means a good amount of time off. But with a horse that good, it’s what we have to do.”

The son of Quick Star, owned by Beverley Widdowson, was sidelined for nine months from September 2013 with a similar injury and has been brought back extremely carefully by Nick and his team.

However, this setback means Nick will be unable to bid for this summer’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy (2-7 September), with his 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning partner.

“If there’s anything good to come out of it, it’s the fact he’s only 11 and he’s already had a nine-month break so, if it all repairs, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be back as good as ever afterwards” added Nick, who is still eyeing the 2016 Olympics in Rio with Big Star.

“It’s frustrating. But as long as we [Great Britain] get qualified [for Rio at the World Equestrian Games] I want to be there.”