Mark Todd has become the most celebrated New Zealand athletes, having a pair of Olympic gold medals plus numerous additional accolades. He ended up being named to contend in six successive Olympic Games, however he couldn’t attend the initial games, in Moscow in 1980, as a result of American-led boycott.
Mark was a pioneer of three-day eventing in New Zealand and, in 1978, ended up being a part of New Zealand’s very first three-day eventing group to compete in a world championship. Those that then followed him included Olympic medalists and world champs including Tinks Pottinger, Blyth Tait, Vaughn Jefferis, Vicky Latta, Sally Clark along with Andrew Nicholson.
He was available to be bought, so I flew up to Auckland, tested him out, got him vetted and it all happened especially speedily
In his very first effort at Badminton in 1980, competing on Southern Comfort, Todd came 45th following on from the dressage, but nevertheless , was just one of merely three inside time frame in the cross-country. Entering into the final day he came to be third. When Lucinda Prior-Palmer and Helen Butler became unstuck in the show jumping, Todd was Badminton winner. It turned out his first crucial achievement in what was to become a glittering 20-year career at the top. The largest peaks are his two Olympic gold medals on Charisma, in 1984 & 1988. And he continues to be only person to win back-to-back individual Olympic titles since World War II.
Mark continued to win Badminton once again in 1994, 1996 plus much more currently in 2011 whilst furthermore reaching a record 5 wins at Burghley in 1987, 1990, 1991, 1997 and 1999. He has more than once assisted New Zealand squads to win world titles (1990 & 1998), was inducted in to the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, won the Supreme Halberg Award and was additionally branded as New Zealand’s Sportsperson of the Year in 1988 on top of that he was identified as FEI Event Rider of the 20th Century by the International Equestrian Federation in 2000. He also was delighted to hold New Zealand’s flag within the Opening Ceremony within the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain and was made an MBE [Member of the British Empire] in 1984 in addition to a CBE [Commander of the British Empire] in 1995.
Mark retired from world-wide competition after the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and went back to reside in New Zealand. Within his hometown of Cambridge, he continued to breed horses, with success in the Wellington Cup and also New Zealand Oaks, and also focus on various business ventures. In no way removed from the activity of Eventing he functioned as coach for the NZ Olympic Eventing team at Athens in 2004 and then continued to participate in eventing at a community level and to support eventing generally.
It was subsequently in 2008, with sponsorship from New Zealand Bloodstock, he made the decision to go back to eventing at the international position, his goal to participate New Zealand at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He purchased a 10-year old grey referred to as Gandalf, “He was available to be bought, so I flew up to Auckland, tested him out, got him vetted and it all happened especially speedily”. It was then in May 2008 that Mark & Gandalf qualified for Beijing at Saumar in France. He completed one of the best performances of the New Zealand squad, which concluded in fifth place.
In February 2009, Mark publicized he was going to make a full return to eventing and has consequently made performances at Badminton and Burghley with lots of other outing at 2* and 3*. At the end of 2011, Mark was standing 8th inside the British Eventing Top 100 Riders in 2011. The next year, Mark followed up his Olympic return in Beijing with selection for Team New Zealand in the 2012 Olympics in London in which New Zealand gained a team Bronze, Mark performing 12th all round inside the individual competition. In 2013, Mark performed both Badminton also Burghley, and ending up Seventh on Oloa, along with a few more outstanding results including a 3rd at Blenhiem along with a Third at Boekelo. Also, he correctly reloacted his base of procedures to Badgerstown close to Swindon.