‘It’s been an honour’: Olympic champion stallion moves to Europe

  • Legendary showjumping stallion Big Star will move from Britain to stand in Europe next season, it has been announced.

    Stallion AI Services, where the 2016 Olympic champion has stood since 2013, full-time since 2016, confirmed today (2 December) that the 19-year-old would be moving to Euro Horse in Belgium for next year.

    “We’ve loved that horse as if he was ours,” Stallion AI Services founder and managing director Tullis Matson told H&H.

    “He’s been a huge part of Stallion AI Services and it’s been great to follow his Olympic journey, and the biggest honour in the world [to stand him]. But we’re 100% behind the decision because they [owner Gary Widdowson and former rider Nick Skelton] want to supply the European breeders with fresh and chilled semen.”

    Tullis explained that since Britain left the EU, border controls have hindered the supply of semen to the Continent. This move will allow breeders in Europe to put their mares to the team and individual gold medal-winner.

    “Big Star has led the way within the British breeding industry for many years,” a spokesman for Stallion AI Services said. “The continued support from UK breeders will have played a huge part in producing a world-ranked stallion of the future.

    “Stallion AI Services will retain full exclusivity of chilled semen supply for the UK and Ireland, along with worldwide exclusivity for frozen straws.

    “It has been an honour and a privilege to have Big Star standing in the UK for so many years. We are incredibly excited to be given the opportunity of working with Gary and [Euro Horse owner] Axel Verlooy on the next step of Big Star’s journey. More information will be released shortly.”

    Tullis added: “We’re lucky to have had this amazing horse here in the UK.”

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