Skelton wins athlete of the year at FEI awards

Skelton wins athlete of the year at FEI awards
By Sportsbeat

24/11/2016 at 23:32

Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton has been recognised by the world equestrian governing body by being named their best athlete.

The showjumper won individual gold in a dramatic jump-off at Rio 2016, following up Great Britain's success in the team event four years earlier.

Aged 58, Skelton was Team GB's second oldest Olympic champion in history, in what was a record-setting seventh Games for the rider.

Skelton was in Tokyo this week to celebrate at the prestigious FEI awards, where he collected the award for best athlete.

"I've had an incredible year and this award makes it even better," he said.

The Bedworth jumper rode Big Star to his second gold medal in successive Games in August but Skelton has never won a world title, despite standing on the podium five times in his distinguished career.

Skelton has picked up three European crowns, though, and first competed at an Olympic Games at Seoul 1988.

He did not compete at Sydney 2000 but did ride at the Alternative Olympics in 1980, making him Team GB's most experienced Olympian ever.

His groom, Mark Beever, was also honoured at the Tokyo ceremony, picking up the award for best groom. Sportsbeat 2016