Olympic champions Nick Skelton and Big Star take third

Following an easy warm-up double clear in Toronto’s opening day’s power and speed, Nick Skelton and his mighty Olympic champion Big Star claimed third in the world cup qualifier the following day.

Only five of the 22 starters posted initial clears over course-designer Bernardo Casbral’s challenging track, which included a triple combination and massive 1.90m wide triple bar and tested adjustability between fences.

“Experience tells us that when you build something like that, a little bit quick and not too big but delicate, not very rider demanding but horse demanding, the cream rises to the top,” said Bernardo. In the jump-off, clears proved even scarcer.

The USA’s McLain Ward was the only rider to again jump clear to take victory on HH Azur. Fellow American Kent Farrington provided the fastest time of the class, but the final fence hit the floor putting them second.

Nick was drawn first with Big Star and finished on four faults for third a further two sec behind them.

“It is only his fourth show indoors and indoors isn’t really his forte, but I was pleased with him. When you’re drawn first, you have to try and put up a decent enough time, especially with these guys behind you, but it didn’t work out tonight,” said Nick.

Photo © Jump Media/Ben Radvanyi Photography