The great showjumper gilded an already exceptional career with gold in Rio in 2016. Jennifer Donald traces the steps that led to that impressive crowning moment
“When you saw the hunched shoulders and attacking position of Skelly about to do the business, you knew the class wasn’t over,” says Graham Fletcher of double Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton CBE.
For 40 years, that familiar silhouette set the benchmark in arenas all over the world. With his natural talent, attention to detail and fierce competitiveness, Nick could out-jump, out-gallop and out-turn anybody. He was a born winner, amassing an unparalleled trove of silverware, medals and grand prix titles.
But in the twilight of his exceptional career – and long after most sportsmen have called time – one prize still eluded him. Then on an historic afternoon in 2016, 58-year-old Nick and the legendary stallion Big Star claimed the greatest accolade of all.