SPOTY: two equestrian super stars in the running

  • Equestrian stars Nick Skelton and Sophie Christiansen have been nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY).

    The nominations were revealed today (28 November) on The One Show.

    Nick and Sophie are two of a shortlist of 16 stars up for the award, selected by an expert panel of sports specialists.

    The list also includes footballers Jamie Vardy, Gareth Bale, hockey player Kate Richardson-Walsh, golfer Danny Willet, boxer Nicola Adams and tennis player Andy Murray.

    Gymnast Max Whitlock also joins the line-up alongside swimmer Adam Peaty, triathlete Alistair Brownlee, runner Mo Farah, cyclist Dame Sarah Story, para runner and cyclist Kadeena Cox and cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Kenny.

    The 16 will compete for the public vote on 18 December.

    “I’m so happy to be nominated for SPOTY — it’s such an honour to be recognised in this way among such great sportsmen and women,” Nick told H&H.

    Voting will be available by phone or online and the number to call for each contestant with be revealed during the show.

    Calls were made for Nick to be nominated after he was crowned 2016 Olympic champion, following his four-decade showjumping career.

    Eight-time Paralympic gold medallist Sophie was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours list for services to disabled sport and an OBE in the 2012 New Year Honours list.

    Continued below…

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    Only four equestrians have won the SPOTY award: AP McCoy in 2010, Zara Phillips (2006), Princess Anne (1971) and David Broome (1960).

    AP was crowned Sports Personality of the Year in 2010 the year in which he won the Grand National on his 15th attempt aboard Don’t Push It. He was the first jockey to win the prestigious title and secured more than 40% of the votes. He was also shortlisted last year, when he finished third.

    Zara Phillips took the award after being crowned world and European eventing champion, beating the bookies’ favourite golfer Darren Clarke to the title.



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