Sir Mark Todd’s 2011 Badminton Horse Trials winner Land Vision has died following a bout of colic. The talented 17-year-old was euthanised on March 18 after suffering from complications relating to a colic operation a fortnight ago.
“Land Vision (Ben) was undoubtedly one of the most talented horses I ever rode and to win Badminton for us at his first 4* as a 10-year-old was amazing,” Todd said.
“He was loved by everyone who had anything to do with him. A true gentleman!”
When the combination won Badminton in 2011, Todd had been back in the sport for just three years after an eight-year retirement. He was the oldest winner and matched Mark Phillips’ record of four Badminton victories (only Lucinda Green has more, six).
After the win, Todd said: “It is like a fairy tale. When you come back, you hope you can get back to the level you have been at but to actually come out on a horse at his first four-star start and beat such a strong field is just amazing.”
Unfortunately, Land Vision was plagued with soundness issues throughout his career, so “we never got to see just how good he could have been,” Todd said.
He missed the 2012 season entirely following a tendon injury, and had only two or three British Eventing starts each year from 2013 to 2016, with his last official appearance at Burnham Market in April, 2016.
Earlier in his career he was ridden by Oliver Townend, and in 2008 the combination won the British intermediate championships at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe, and the CIC2* at Strzegom, Poland.
Todd said: “He has been a fantastic hack for Carolyn in his retirement. Huge thanks to Sir Peter Vela and NZ Bloodstock for giving me the opportunity to ride him and to all the girls over the years who have been his devoted carers.”
Land Vision was bred by Anne Kirk at Stonecroft Stables in Oxhill, from her mare Stonecroft Holly and by the predominantly holsteiner stallion Broadstone Landmark, a Danish Warmblood. Land Vision started his eventing career as a four-year-old with Daniel Henson.