August 9, 2008

Mark Todd, the 54-year old New Zealand star who came out of retirement last January in an attempt to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games, will realise his latest ambition when he is first into the arena this morning with Gandalf as the Dressage phase of the Eventing discipline gets underway at 6.30am local time (10.30am NZT).

The 11 participating teams have been drawn in the following order - New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Italy, USA, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Great Britain, Brazil and France - and Australia's Clayton Fredericks is also included in the first tranche of riders to come before Ground Jury members Christian Landolt, Martin Plewa and Marilyn Payne.

British pathfinders, Daisy Dick and Springalong, will lead the second group which concludes with Germany's Frank Ostholt and Mr Medicott at 8.37am while Australia's Lucinda Fredericks, a dressage specialist and hotly-tipped for the individual title, is included amongst the third and final morning group along with Britain's William Fox-Pitt and Parkmore Ed and the French partnership of Didier Dhennin and Ismene du Temple.

Tonight three further groups of horses and riders show their paces while on Sunday morning the dressage phase concludes, with Jean Renaud Adde and Haston D'Elpegere bringing down the curtain.