To celebrate Nick Skelton’s milestone 60th birthday today (30 December 2017), we have picked out just a handful of his numerous showjumping triumphs from a dazzling four decades at the top of the sport. How many of these magic moments do you remember?
1. Winning the World Cup qualifier at Olympia, London, in 1983 on St James — the first leg of a back-to-back double in the class.
2. The second of his four victories in the Aachen Grand Prix, this time riding Apollo in 1987. He would go on to retain his title the following year.
3. Nick also claimed four wins in the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead — the first of his quartet came in 1984 on St James.
4. In 2006, Nick took the Rome grand prix riding Arko III, just beating his friend and team-mate Michael Whitaker into second place.
5. Between 1987 and 1989, Nick was simply invincible in the Hickstead Derby. He lifted the coveted Boomerang trophy first with J Nick then twice on Apollo, completing this incredible hat-trick here in 1989.
6. Team stalwart Nick helped Great Britain to victory in 44 Nations Cups, including three in Dublin’s prestigious Aga Khan Trophy in 2005, 2008 and here on Carlo 273 in 2011.
7. The Hamburg grand prix in 2012 was one of the many top tier classes he won with the unforgettable Big Star.
8. In 1978, Nick and Lastic cleared 2.32m (just over 7ft 7in) to break the high jump record at Olympia. Nearly 40 years on, that record still stands.
9. The grand prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters is arguably the toughest competition in showjumping, yet Nick has clinched the big-money prize a phenomenal four times — here on his 1998 winner Hopes Are High.
10. Who could forget this golden moment? Contesting his seventh Games, Nick and the 13-year-old stallion Big Star were crowned Olympic champions in Rio 2016.
11. In 1995, Nick and one of his all-time greats Dollar Girl won the World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Nick's friends, family and fellow riders share their thoughts about what gave the showjumper the winning edge
In this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (12 October 2017), read an exclusive extract from Nick Skelton’s new
12. On home soil in London, Nick and Big Star led the British team to gold at the 2012 Olympics
13. One of the first championship medals to adorn Nick’s glittering trophy cabinet was gold at the junior European championships in 1975 riding OK. He would go on to win an astounding 17 medals at senior level.
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