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Skelton victorious on the “unbelievable talent” Big Star

Monday, 14 February 2011

Nick Skelton and Big Star. Photo by Sportfot. Nick Skelton continued his good form when he together with Big Star won the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic in Wellington Sunday.

Alan Wade of Co. Tipperary, Ireland, designed the course and set a first-round track that 11 combinations would clear. Skelton and Big Star, an eight-year-old KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Nimmerdor owned by Beverly and Gary Widdowson, cleared the jump-off in 40.985 seconds. It was a blazing time that beat second place finisher McLain Ward and Esplanade 7, by more than two seconds. French rider Marie Hecart and Babbe Van't Roosakker were third in 43.314 seconds.

Skelton did not see Ward's jump-off ride. "He told me he wasn't very fast, but knowing him I didn't believe him," Skelton joked. "I've never seen him not go fast! I thought I'd go nice, but every time I turned I had a good distance. He's a fast horse anyway. I think I got it into that double (combination). I had an unbelievable shot to it and I think it got sent from above. It was perfect. I didn't think I was almost three seconds faster."

This is the second big win for Big Star, who also claimed victory the $40,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix in week two. Skelton won another Suncast 1.50m classic in week one. "He's a freak of a horse for eight years old," Skelton said of his mount. "You have to remember how old he is and not get carried away. He's still got to get the experience, but he's a great jumper. He has everything: scope, the mind, unbelievable talent. I'm very lucky to have him."

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Source: Press release from by Jennifer Wood and Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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