Mark Todd’s top horse Land Vision is out of Olympic Games contention following the recurrence of an old tendon injury.
The 2011 Badminton Horse Trials winner will be out for at least three months to allow a complete recovery
In accepting the veterinary advice Todd expressed his disappointment, especially as he rates Land Vision as one of his best horse.
“He proved himself at Badminton last year as one of the best four-star horses in the world and I thought if I got him to the Olympics fit and sound he would have had a good chance at winning a medal,” Todd said.
“It is very disappointing for me, my sponsors New Zealand Bloodstock and the New Zealand team.”
The long term prognosis for Land Vision is good given his relatively young age of 11, and the two time Olympic gold medalist remains available for selection for a record seventh Olympic Games with other horses in his stable including the 10-year-old NZB Campino.
“All is far from lost,” he said. “Campino is very good in all phases too and while he is not quite as experienced as Land Vision he can also be a competitive prospect.”
The cancellation of Badminton this weekend has thrown a spanner in the works for several international riders and teams.
It hasn’t helped Todd either, who still needs to achieve the Olympic qualification standard for NZB Grass Valley, on whom he finished 11th individual at the 2010 World Championships, and contributed to a team bronze medal.
Grass Valley will now head to the three-star event at Saumur in France while Campino will compete at Chatsworth this month, and Major Milestone to Tattersalls in Ireland, followed by Luhmuhlen in Germany – the latter the only four-star competition on the eventing calendar before the Olympics begins on July 28.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance director Sarah Harris said everyone in the team was disappointed at Land Vision’s withdrawal.
“Tendon injuries are not unusual for eventing horses and rest is the only option in this case,” Harris said.
“Mark remains eligible for selection for London and I fully expect to see him as part of the Kiwi team in July.”