Big Star’s owner Beverley Widdowson has been named Owner of the Year for the second year running by the FEI and the Jumping Owners Club.
Big Star is a 10-year-old bay stallion ridden by Olympic team gold medallist Nick Skelton.
A year ago, Widdowson picked up the coveted owner’s prize with her 12-year-old grey gelding Carlo 273, ridden by Nick Skelton to double bronze at the FEI European Jumping Championships 2011 in Madrid, and who is now the new top horse of Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP).
“To win this award for the second year running is an incredible feeling, and is testament to all the hard work of everyone on the team involved in the success of Big Star – I am over the moon,” Widdowson said. “Nick and Big Star have had some amazing wins so far this year. They’re both extremely focused and doing their utmost – long may it continue!”
Widdowson was presented with the FEI Owner of the Year award at the eighth leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour in Chantilly (FRA) on July 20 by Christian Baillet, Chairman of the Jumping Owners Club, and John Madden, FEI Executive Board member and FEI Jumping Committee Chair.
“To win the FEI Owner of the Year award more than once is a brilliant achievement, but to do so in consecutive years really takes some doing,” Christian Baillet said.
“Big Star and Nick Skelton are having a tremendous run of success. Since securing team gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, they have had a steady stream of high profile wins, including the Grand Prix at the Piazza di Siena in Rome and at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen – all eyes are on this incredible partnership as the season continues.”
The FEI Owner of the Year Award was created in 2004 to recognise the most successful jumping owner on an annual basis. To determine the winner, a classification is established for all horse and rider combinations based on points from the world Jumping rankings – now called the Longines Rankings – during the calendar year.
The owner of the horse of the winning combination receives a bronze sculpture produced by Caroline Wallace.
Previous winners of the FEI Owner of the Year award are John, Pat and Lisa Hales (GBR) for Arko III in 2004 and 2005; Serena Hamberg (AUT) for The Sixth Sense in 2006; Nancy Clark (USA) for Shutterfly in 2007; and Eric Lamaze (CAN) and John Fleischhacker (USA) for Hickstead in 2008, 2009 and 2010.