Mark Todd leads NZ to brink of medals

Mark Todd leads NZ to brink of medals

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Onya Toddy what a great ride mark Todd has had over the past couple of days and is now part of New Zealand folklore when it comes to three-day eventing!!

Mark Todd leads NZ to brink of medals

LATEST: Mark Todd will wake up tomorrow knowing two clear showjumping rounds and he’ll further entrench his name among the legends of three-day eventing, and New Zealand sport.

Mark Todd leads NZ to brink of medals

Mark Todd leads NZ to brink of medals

The 56-year-old remains third,  just 0.2 penalty points behind the joint leaders, Ingrid Klimke of Germany and Sara Algotsson Ostholt of Sweden, after a drama and tension-filled day of cross-country following a brilliant ride on his inexperienced mount Campino at Greenwich Park.

Riding last of the 74 starters, Todd pushed his young horse to the limit and came within a whisker of claiming the gold medal position ahead of the final showjumping phase.

Spurred on by what could have been a home crowd, with tens of thousands of fans lining the twisty, hilly course, he went just 0.6 seconds over the allotted time of 10 minutes 3 seconds for the 5.7km course, collecting 0.4 penalty points which slotted him in at third, with 39.5 points.

Only eight riders – including Zara Phillips, grand-daughter of Queen Elizabeth II – made it over the course within the alloted time as riders said it was a challenge to navigate the  course inspired by everything from classic children’s book The Wind in the Willows to ancient Rome.

But it was still a red-letter day for Todd, the double Olympic champion, whose two individual gold medals came way back in 1984 and 1988.

“He was fantastic,” the event rider of the 20th century said of his nine-year-old dubbed Kinky.

“I knew I had to go out there and go hard early, it was a big ask for a young horse like this to go that quick around a track like this. It’s certainly not his ideal track because he’s a such a big long-striding horse, but I knew I had to keep pushing and keep asking the questions and he kept responding.”

Incredibly, Todd rode most of the course with loose reins after they came “completely undone” at the sixth of 28 fences, again showing why he’s regarded as a genius on a horse.


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