Olympic gold medal winning duo Nick Skelton and Big Star have been named the best rider and horse combination of 2012.

The list, published by equestrian sport’s governing body the FEI, highlights the most successful global combinations in the past year.

The British combination have topped the list, followed by American Richard Spooner and Cristallo. In third are individual Olympic champions Steve Guerdat, of Switzerland and Nino Des Buissonnets.

Ten-year-old Big Star, owned by Beverley Widdowson, was successful with Nick last year at Greenwich, as well as in Florida and Europe.

This the fourth time Nick has won the award — once with Arko III and twice with Carlo.

“I’m very pleased to have made the top spot as the leading international horse and rider once again,” said Nick.

“It is an award that everyone aligned with Big Star can be proud of. He is a fantastic horse, super talented, he takes on anything I ask of him and I feel incredibly fortunate to have him”.

Iain Graham of British Showjumping added: “To have a British owner, rider and horse top the FEI league table once again is a tremendous testament to the support the sport has in Great Britain. We have shown that Great Britain is a nation to be reckoned with whether it be measured at Olympic podium level or across a twelve month period”.