Saturday 20 August - 09h51 | Lulu Kyriacou
Showjumping Gold- The reaction
Britain's first individual show jumping gold medal, won last night by Nick Skelton has been a massive boost for British Show jumping. Here is what Nick and the other eiders had to say about the competition.
Securing his Olympic gold medal, Nick becomes the oldest gold medallist, aged 58, for Team GB since 1908; “I’d like to thank the BOA for what they have done getting us here and obviously UK Sport who support the team. It’s nice to be the oldest one.”
Team-mate Ben Maher produced two brilliant rounds today with Jane Forbes Clark’s Tic Tac. After an unfortunate pole down in the first round to see him through to the second round on four penalties, the combination were also unlucky to see a second fence fall and accrue a time penalty, leaving them on a total penalty score of 17 after the two rounds, putting them into 25th place in the Individual standings.
Ben commented after his first round today; “He jumped great again, it was just unfortunate as I think he has improved every day. He just didn’t get quite as much height as I would have liked (on the back rail) maybe he was looking through to the second part. I think I’ve said all week that if I had more time with him then there’s some things that we could definitely improve on and I think we’ll see that horse become very successful.”
Nick Skelton GBR, gold:
“Today was amazing”, Skelton said. “Big Star has been a bit rusty. The last time he won was in Aachen (GER) in 2013 and it’s taken two years to get him back on track again. A lot of people put a lot of time into bringing him back. He’s always been amazing, he wants to do it all and he has all the right attributes - he’s the best horse I’ve ever had and the best I’m ever likely to have. I’m so pleased for him. On his way back we nursed him and nursed him and today he came good for me.”
“It’s pretty emotional for all my team, my groom Mark has been in my team for 30 years, he works with this horse nine hours a day. My two boys (his sons) are at home, they’re both very busy but I spoke with them on the phone and they’re really happy. I have to thank Laura (his partner, American rider Laura Kraut) too, she’s been a great help.”
“I’m not going to stop riding now, the only horse I ride is Big Star and when he stops I’ll stop.”
"I have been trying to talk to Harry (son) but he has been crying for half an hour!"
Eric Lamaze CAN, silver: “So many things have to go right, a lot of great riders and horses here had misfortune this week, you need good luck and your horse to stay healthy. I always thought Nick would be on the podium, or just off it anyway.”
Nick Skelton GBR, gold: “I was surprised there were so many clears in the first round, 13 is a lot and six in the jump-off is a lot - you’ve got to feel for the riders that finished fourth, fifth and sixth.”
Peder Fredricson SWE, silver: “I knew I was sitting on a very good horse coming to the Games - maybe I wasn’t expecting a medal but I was hoping for it! I saw Nick (in the jump=off) and I tried to ride faster but I couldn’t - there were so many riders going for gold in the jump-off!”
“I bought this horse as a seven-year-old, Nicola Phiippaerts was riding it. I went to buy him, and after the first jump I knew he was the horse I was looking for. I have him three years now.”