Nick Skelton forced into early retirement

  • After enduring months in a metal neck brace, British showjumper Nick Skelton has been told he must give up riding permanently on the advice of leading neuro-surgeons.

    Nick’s injury followed a fall from his horse Lalique at a show in Park Gate, Cheshire in September last year. The top (C1) vertabra in his neck was broken in two places and the injury has not yet recovered as expected.

    “The ligament that supports the bones has snapped and torn a piece of bone away – another fall could prove fatal,” said Nick. “It is a risk that I cannot take.”

    Nick, who has been on 137 British teams, including Olympics, World and European Championships and is four-times winner of the King George V Gold Cup, is now said to be evaluating which way to re-direct his career.

    Michaell Bullman, chairman of the BSJA International Affairs Committee, said: “Great Britain can ill afford to lose a world class rider like Nick Skelton. He had an illustrious career and will be a great loss to our international effort, but even more to the British public, who have followed him throughout his great career.”

    See special tribute to Nick Skelton in Horse & Hound magazine…

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