Special Rolex Grand Slam 10th Anniversary: Nick Skelton, Winner of the First Major

(Last Updated On: May 25, 2023)
(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton)

How special was it winning the very first Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major at CHIO Aachen in 2013?

It was incredible winning the first Rolex Grand Slam Major at CHIO Aachen in 2013. I had been lucky enough to win this Grand Prix three times before, but to be the first Major winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping was incredibly special. I was in a great position heading to the next Major, CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, but unfortunately Big Star got injured so we couldn’t go.

Can you remember your emotions and how you felt at that moment?

Winning in Aachen was truly amazing; it is the best show in the world. In terms of its stature, I would place it on par with The Masters in golf, and The Championships, Wimbledon in tennis. Winning with Big Star was amazing; he was the most phenomenal jumper. It was also incredibly memorable for me as his owners and my family were there, which made it far more special than a normal show, or any other Grand Prix.

Can you tell us about Big Star and what made him so special?

Big Star was such an incredible horse – he had it all. I would rate him 11 out of 10 for everything. He was so scopey, careful, and incredibly intelligent. He was always so excited to jump – he loved it.

I bought Big Star when he was five years old. Laura [Kraut] found him when she was at a show in Holland in 2008 where the American Team were at a training camp ahead of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She was at the show a day early and saw him jump, and knew I needed to have him.

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