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Inside The Rolex Grand Slam – Legend Edition: Nick Skelton

Thursday, 02 July 2020
Inside The Rolex Grand Slam
Masked picture

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton.

Words from Olympic gold medallist and show jumping legend Nick Skelton

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton


How did it feel to win your first Major? 

As anybody would, it was incredibly exciting, I was very pleased and incredibly happy to be winning them. I had some very good horses in those days, Apollo won two Grands Prix at CHIO Aachen, and then I won the Aachen Grand Prix in 1982 with a horse called Everest If Ever. Lastly, Big Star won the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen in 2013 when it was part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, so I became the Rolex live contender. 

Is there a difference in feeling when you enter the arena of a Rolex Grand Prix at a Major, compared to other shows? 

CHIO Aachen was always a great place to ride, even back in the 80’s it was always packed with crowds, there was always a great atmosphere. Winning the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen is an incredible feat for any rider. It’s probably one of the hardest ones to win, along with Calgary. 

Do you think it takes a special and unique type of horse to win one of the Majors that make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping? 

Of course, they are big courses and there’s a lot of pressure with the big crowds of spectators that they attract. Riders also put a lot of pressure on themselves, as they are the most important Grands Prix to win. 

I think we know the answer to this, but which horse was your horse of a lifetime? 

Big Star, no doubt. I’ve been very lucky; I’ve had some great horses. It’s very difficult to decide which of them was better, but he was theoutstanding one. I’ve had some incredible ones over my time, horses like Dollar Girl, St James, Apollo, Tinka’s boy, Top Gun, Carlo. Some of the best horses in the world at that time, but Big Star was an incredibly special horse, and I’m incredibly grateful to have ridden him.



New Rolex Grand Slam initiative: Rider's top 5 playlist

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof


As a brand new initiative, the Rolex Grand Slam decided to ask top riders what music keeps them fired up!

Need some insipirational tunes for this start of the week? Kent Farrington's playlist's will give you an extra boost to keep yourself motivated!

Follow us on Spotify, all the rider's playlists will be posted there!



About the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping


The Rolex Grand Slam is considered by the sport to be the ultimate equestrian challenge, primarily due to the sporting prowess required to achieve this feat. It is a quest taken on by the world’s top riders, vying to secure the legendary status associated with winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The format of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is simple: anyone who wins three Majors in a row receives the Rolex Grand Slam trophy and a €1 million bonus on top of the class’s prize-money. If that same rider then continues their success by winning a fourth Major in succession, they will be rewarded with an additional €1million bonus. If two shows are won in succession, the bonus is €500,000 or if an athlete wins only 2 majors in a period of four successive shows, the bonus is €250,000.


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