Nick Skelton and Big Star are in form in Toronto

Reigning Olympic champions Nick Skelton and the ultra-scopey stallion Big Star,owned by Gary and Beverley Widdowson and their eight-year-old grandson Oliver Robertson, claimed second in the $75,000 Big Ben Challenge at the Toronto 4* meeting.

Seven of the 21 riders jumped clear over a huge, testing track designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Cobral, but in the jump-off, none could match the sizzling round from the USA’s Kent Farrington and the nine-year-old Creedance. The speedy pair won by 1.69 sec in front of a capacity crowd of more than 6,000.

“It was a creative course using three doubles instead of a triple combination,” said Kent, who was pleased with Creedance.

“He’s a classy horse and he’s learning at each show. He’s a little bit special and very, very sensitive, so loud noises and things like that really set him off. I thought maybe these indoor shows would be a bit of an adventure, but he’s settled down and handled it all nicely.”

Nick didin’t go full bore in the jump-off.

“There was no way I could beat Kent so I went for second,” he said.

Photo © Jump Media/Ben Radvanyi Photography