New Zealand eventer Mark Todd was knighted for his services to equestrian sport at Buckingham Palace on Friday by Prince Charles.
Todd, who has two individual gold medals among his five Olympic medals, was formally made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) following New Zealand’s New Year’s Honours.
Since Todd lives in the UK, the formal ceremony was conducted at Buckingham Palace.
“I’m proud obviously because it’s an award from New Zealand, but I’m thrilled to be able to receive it here at Buckingham Palace,” Todd said.
“The British do this sort of thing incredibly well, it’s amazing to be here.”
Todd, 57, flew home to New Zealand soon after the ceremony to attend the funeral of his father, Norm, who died recently at the age of 92.
Todd received the knighthood on the back of a five-year comeback which saw him win a bronze team eventing medal at this year’s London Olympics, 28 years after first standing on the podium as an Olympian, when he won gold at the Los Angeles Games.
Todd collected an individual gold and team bronze in the three-day event at Seoul in 1988, and collected a bronze in Sydney in 2000.
He then retired, but launched a comeback in 2008 which culminated in his London bronze, which, at 56, made him the country’s oldest Olympic medal winner.
Todd’s equestrian triumphs extend well beyond the Olympics. He has won the three-day event at Badminton four times and is a five-time winner at Burghley.
In the 1985 New Year Honours, Todd was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, and he was elevated to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
In 1999 he was voted eventing rider of the century by the FEI. That same year he was voted Horse and Hound Equestrian Personality of the Century.