Mark Todd to don jockey silks for Irish challenge race

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Mark Todd (NZL) and Leonidas II put up a spectacular leap over the Cottesmore Leap. The combination is in seventh place going into the final phase.
Mark Todd and Leonidas II put up a spectacular leap over the Cottesmore Leap at Burghley in 2015. © Steph Freeman

Retired eventer Sir Mark Todd is getting back in the saddle for the Event Riders Challenge Race in Ireland in six weeks’ time.

Having announced his retirement from the at Camphire International Horse Trials last year, Todd will be making a public appearance for the event at Dundalk Stadium on Wednesday April 15, to help funds for the Irish High Performance Eventing squads.

Todd won gold medals at Los Angeles (1984) and Seoul (1988) Olympics and has won the famous Badminton Horse Trials four times. He has won Burghley Horse Trials five times, and as a member of New Zealand’s Eventing team, he won gold medals at the World Championships in 1990 and 1998, along with numerous other international individual and team titles. He was voted ‘Rider of the 20th Century’ by the FEI.

Todd has had his own thoroughbred training successes in racing with wins in the Wellington Cup and New Zealand Oaks.

“I always had great fun eventing in Ireland and I am very excited to have this opportunity to ride in the Event Riders Challenge Race at Dundalk Stadium supporting my mates in the Irish Team,” Todd said of his racing debut as a jockey on Irish soil.

HSI High Performance Director Sally Corscadden said the sponsorship of the 14 jockeys for the challenge will raise funds for all of Ireland’s eventing squads.

“Having Sir Mark taking part in the Event Riders Challenge is phenomenal. To be racing against Mark in this unique event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that should not be missed!”

Each table of 4, 6, 8 or 10 persons costs €65 a head, and can be booked online or contacting Eventing Ireland on (045) 854 545. Tickets include entrance, race card, a three-course meal and drinks service.

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