Olympics: Mark Todd Third after DressageMonday, Jul 30, 2012
Legendary New Zealand horseman Mark Todd produced a near faultless ride on NZB Campino in London overnight, putting him in third place after the dressage phase of the Olympic three-day Event.
Capping the second day of dressage, Mark's rock steady performance in front of a crowd of about 15,000 catapulted him and the New Zealand eventing team into medal contention.
The final competitors to enter the Greenwich Park arena, Mark and NZB Campino, his relatively inexperienced mount, put on a stunning display to finish on 39.1 penalty faults placing them third out of the 74 riders.
"He's a horse that's very, very talented,'' said Mark. "I've always thought a lot of him. He's a horse who has won all the way through his career. I'm chuffed with him, but there are two more days of competition.
"I was really relaxed, and (NZB Campino) stayed relaxed, and it worked really well. I'd had a good few days here, the horse had worked really well, and I just kept saying to myself this is just another competition."
After Mark's performance the New Zealand team shot from seventh to fourth equal with Sweden in the teams standings, with 128.20 points, putting them in a strong position if the top three riders can go clear in the next two phases of the competition.
Heading into the cross-country phase tomorrow the key New Zealand riders will be Mark, Jock Paget (Clifton Promise) who currently sits in 17th place and Andrew Nicholson (Nereo) in 21st place.
After competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics on NZB Gandalf, in 2011 Mark rode his way to becoming Badminton's oldest champion, at age 55, on NZB Land Vision in what was, remarkably, the first start for the horse at the elite four-star level.
The back-to-back Olympic gold medallist is proudly sponsored by New Zealand Bloodstock who supported Mark in his campaign to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and continues to support him in this new Olympic quest at London 2012.