Nick Skelton turned down €15M offer for Big Star

In an interview with Yahoo Sport, Olympic Gold Medal winner, Nick Skelton explained why he turned down (once) a 15 million Euro offer for his Olympic horse, Big Star. Britain’s oldest gold medallist galloped to victory at the latest Games despite two knee operations, a hip replacement and a broken neck – all at the age of 58.

Yahoo Sport met up with Nick at the Land Rover Burghley Horse trials to chat about his career, its ups and downs and having competed in every Olympics since Seoul 1988. Read the interview here …

Congratulations on winning your second Olympic gold medal. Thank you for taking the time to meet with Yahoo Sport today. Firstly, how did Rio Compare to London?

Well, completely different really. London was amazing, I thought the organisation was the best Olympic games I have been to and still stands out and of course winning my first gold in the team show jumping. Rio was completely different, winning as an individual medal, so two different feelings.

And how did Big Star cope with the travelling?

He coped fine, Big Star and these horses are used to long distance travelling. It’s actually easier on them to fly long distances than it is for them to be driven down in a horsebox to Rome for instance. So he arrived in Rio and came back very well and fresh.

Have you been offered big money for him that you turned down?

Yes I have. It was about 15m euros. It was a lot of money to turn down, believe me but I wanted him for Rio.

Which Olympic medal means the most to you?

To win my first Gold medal was fantastic, a very special and great feeling but being a team victory with three others you only get 25 per cent of the glory. To win an individual is outstanding, it’s yours and you have done it yourself, it feels very special indeed.

What advice have you got for youngsters to get into show jumping?

I think a lot of people don’t realise how big a sport show jumping is and how high profile it is. We have so many shows now, at home and abroad to compete in with big prize money too, the global tour finals tour with €1million to the winner.

What is it that draws you to show jumping more than any other equine discipline?

I think it is because I have ridden all my life, I was going down the national hunt racing route but found I was beginning to find more success in show jumping. So really I stuck with what I was best at. I was frightened not to stick with that in case It didn’t work out as well. I think I have done the right thing.

Both my sons are in national hunt racing, one a leading trainer and the youngest a successful jockey. So it’s great that all my family are in the equine business.

Who do you consider to be the greatest show jumper and horse ever?  

 That’s a very difficult question as there have been so many combinations. John Whittaker and Milton David Broome and Mr Softee, there have been so many really that it is hard to compare.

source: yahoo news

image: FEI