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Big Star aimed for WEG after injury break

Nick Skelton and Big Star

Nick Skelton and Big Star. © Sportfot

Nick Skelton’s London 2012 team gold medal winning horse Big Star makes his return to competition this week at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, from May 14 to 18.

The 11-year-old has been out of action since sustaining a suspensory injury last August as he was preparing for the Spruce Meadows Masters. He was halfway through an incredible campaign last year, notching up a hat trick of big wins; the CSIO Rome Grand Prix in May; CHIO Aachen Grand Prix in June; and the FEI Nations Cup in Dublin in August. Skelton was also on target to claim the €1 million Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping after winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen with Big Star last June. “

Skelton said he took Big Star to Florida for the winter to recuperate and he jumped some small classes.  “I’m hopefully trying to get him ready for the World Equestrian Games. That would be his aim.  Before that I’d like to get him to the Hamburg Global Champions Tour at the end of May so bringing Big Star to Windsor would be a good preparation for him but I will only do so if he is 100% fit.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in action with him, the last nine months have been a bit quiet to say the least!”

The international Show Jumping, which includes the £53,000 CSI3* Kings Cup on Saturday, May 17, and the £35,000 CSI3* Alltech Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy on May 18, has received entries from 10 nations as well as eight out of the top 10 riders in the UK rankings.

Among the confirmed entries for the CSI3* Show Jumping is Skelton’s London 2012 teammate Peter Charles, as well as reigning World Champion, Philippe Le Jeune (BEL) and  Saudi Arabia’s Abdulla Al Sharbatly, famous for winning silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and team bronze at London 2012. Other international riders include Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez, who has based himself in Europe this year ahead of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in August and USA team mates Lauren Hough and Laura Kraut.  Italy’s Emanuele Guadiano, 27th in the FEI World Rankings, who won last year’s Paris Masters and recently won the Madrid leg of the Global Champions Tour travels over with three horses to compete.

In addition, World No. 1, Charlotte Dujardin, fresh from smashing yet another world record at the Dressage World Cup Final in Lyon, will be showcasing her talents in the CDI3* FEI Dressage which takes place during the evening performances on Thursday and Friday.

Horsetalk.co.nz

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