Nick Skelton and Big Star have once again topped the class in Florida – winning the $32,000 ( £20,000) Suncast 1.50m championship jumper classic.
The pair won on Sunday (26 February) during the seventh week of the Winter Equestrian Festival at Palm Beach, which runs until 1 April.
There were 54 entries in the class but Nick and Big Star, owned by Beverley Widdowson, came out in front after an 11-horse jump-off.
Second place went to fellow Brit Ben Maher, on Quiet Easy 4. Ben and Quiet Easy 4 finished in 34.39s but Nick and Big Star nipped ahead in 33.29s.
“I know Big Star’s quick,” said Nick. “When you let him go, he can go! He has a big stride and in a big ring like that you can go.
“The course was quite a running course in the jump-off, so it was easy to let him go. He still keeps his shape, even if he’s going quickly.”
He added that Big Star, known as “Henry”, is a “sweet horse and well-behaved”.
“You wouldn’t know he was a stallion. He has a really good temperament,” he said. “You can stand him with the mares and everything. He’s not a noisy stallion. He nearly neighs every time he goes in the ring. I don’t know why, but that’s the only noise he makes.”
The pair are now due to compete in the $75,000 ( £48,000) FEI Nations Cup on Friday (2 March) night. It will be Big Star’s first Nations Cup competition.
For a full report see Thursday’s issue of H&H (1 March).