British showjumping's long wait for an individual Olympic medal could end this summer thanks to a 54-year-old arguably in the form of his life.
Nick Skelton's top-flight riding career has spanned four decades and is highlighted by 18 major championship medals.
Skelton enjoyed his first Great Britain Nations Cup victory in 1979, he was in contention for Olympic gold at the Athens Olympic Games 25 years later and is among the most successful showjumpers of his generation.
But never has such excitement accompanied the Warwickshire-based horseman, who could easily arrive in London two months from now as gold medal favourite.
He is in the enviable position of having two potential Olympic horses - Big Star and Carlo - that are owned by Skelton's long-time supporters Gary and Beverley Widdowson.
And after emerging as comfortably the biggest money-winner during this year's Florida Winter Festival, Skelton has continued that form in Europe, winning grands prix at La Baule and Antwerp, in addition to landing the Hamburg Global Champions' Tour title.
"It has gone very well this year - I couldn't have had a better run," said Skelton.
"I have always had great faith in Carlo and Big Star. It was just a matter of time with them, really."
Which horse goes to the Olympics will not be known until early July - the popular theory is Big Star - and Skelton added: "I have told everyone the same thing. I haven't really made my mind up.
"There is no point doing it now, and then you change your mind nearer the time.
"I've had both horses since they were five, and it is then all about the job of producing them and giving them time to come to the fore.
"They have both been grand horses - I couldn't have wished for any better."
Skelton will be back on Nations Cup duty in St Gallen, Switzerland tomorrow, by which time the latest Rolex world rankings should have been published.
British number one Skelton can expect to climb from his current position of seventh, but all his focus remains on two brilliant horses and what could happen in London.
"Rankings don't mean that much, really," he said.
"I don't do shows every week, so I am not chasing, chasing all the time to be world number one.
"I try to plan everything right and get the horses bang on form at the right time, although it's not always easy.
"The secret is getting a good horse. You can get so much out of a bad horse, but you will never beat a rider with a good horse.
"It is about picking the right horses and getting them young.
"You have to be careful not to overdo it. I have taken a long time with Big Star. We were lucky to be in the right place at the right time. He has everything, and it is the same with Carlo.
"I am excited about London. It's about getting the best British team we can and taking it from there.
"I was very close in Athens (Skelton led until the final round). I know things can go wrong, so I am just taking it a day at a time, trying to treat it like another show and hoping we get a bit of luck on the day."
Ann Moore won Britain's last individual Olympic showjumping medal at the 1972 Munich Games, but Skelton is firmly on course to match that achievement.
And no-one could accuse him of doing things the easy way, having come out of retirement after breaking his neck in 2000 and then undergoing hip replacement surgery last year.
"I never actually thought I would get this far back up again, but it has been great to have these horses," he added.
"I would say the the standard is more difficult than it was 20 years ago.
"The courses are more technical, the horses are better, and it's like any sport, it's growing and getting more difficult. Athletes are running faster, throwers are throwing further, and showjumping the same."
For Gary Widdowson, a junior international showjumping peer of Skelton's, his latest sustained period of success during a glittering career has come as no surprise.
"Nick still has the hunger of a young man, and he still rides like a young man," Widdowson said.
"He was absolutely sure when Carlo and Big Star were only five and six-year-olds that he had the horses that would go on and do anything.
"The way he presents a horse from all the work at home to the ring is amazing.
"The pressure (London) will be something our riders have never experienced before. It will be difficult not to crack, and I believe experience will count."