‘A big honour’: Nick Skelton talks candidly about retiring at Windsor

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An emotional video of Nick Skelton explaining what retiring at Royal Windsor Horse Show will mean to him has been released ahead of the event.

Rio 2016 Olympic gold individual medallists Nick and Big Star will retire from competition in front of The Queen and crowds at Royal Windsor in a special ceremony on Sunday (14 May).

“I think for both of us — Big Star and myself — to retire at Royal Windsor in front of Her Majesty The Queen will be a truly big honour,” said Nick.

He added the show, which has been upgraded to CSI5* status for this year, is one of the “great venues” of the sport.

“To retire there is probably the nicest place you could go,” said Nick.

“You don’t often get a horse and rider retiring on the same day. I have been very, very lucky and gone to places I never dreamed I would go and I’m really looking forward going out on a high at Royal Windsor.”

Nick also pays tribute to Big Star in a second touching clip.

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His long-serving groom, Mark Beever, also pays tribute to his employer of 31 years.

“There will never be another Nick Skelton,” he said.

“A fantastic jockey, the best in the world and the best horse in the world, so who else would you want to work for?

“Thank you for all the memories. It is the end of an era.”

Nick Skelton’s showjumping career includes seven Olympic Games and 20 championship medals.

He broke his neck in a fall in 2000 and doctors told him he would never ride again. But Nick defied the odds to get back in the saddle and make a remarkable return to competition, partnering Big Star to Olympic team gold in London 2012 and individual glory in Rio 2016.

Royal Windsor show director, Simon Brooks-Ward, added: “Nick Skelton is not only a legend of equestrian sport but of the whole sporting world.

“What he has achieved in his career is remarkable and we are honoured he has chosen Royal Windsor Horse Show as the place to officially retire along with Big Star.”

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