Mark Todd announces full return to eventing

February 24, 2009

Mark Todd salutes the crowd after finishing his test on Gandalf at the Olympic Games last year.
© Natasha Slavich

New Zealand eventer Mark Todd has revealed he will base himself in Britain from next month to make a full return to the sport.

Todd made headlines a year ago when he announced he was coming out of his eight-year retirement for a tilt at the Beijing Olympic Games, in Hong Kong in August. Todd purchased a top-level horse, and qualified for the Olympics in time to represent New Zealand. He put up one of the best performances of the Kiwi team, in what was only his eighth competition in eight years. The New Zealand team finished a disappointing fifth, but Todd managed the second best Kiwi performance, coming in 17th overall.

The campaign whet his appetite for the sport again. Todd told British magazine Horse and Hound that he would be based in Swindon with Belgian event rider Bruno Goyens de Heusch. He expects to be running a team of about eight horses, including Gandalf, who may start at Badminton this year.

Todd told Horse and Hound that he would be travelling back and forth to New Zealand regularly as his children are still at school here.

"I plan to be (in the UK) until June, then will go back to New Zealand for a month. I will return to the UK until the end of the season and be in New Zealand for Christmas," he told H&H.

Todd turns 53 on March 1.