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Blyth Tait gained his eventing superstar status by winning both World and Olympic titles in the 1990s. Throughout his career Blyth won four Olympic medals for New Zealand including one gold, as well as four World Championship gold medals.
Blyth first came under the public eye after qualifying Rata for the 1986 World Championships in Australia; unfortunately Rata died of a heart attack on the eve of the competition. But he really made an impact with his next horse, Messiah, a former showjumper with whom he finished second at Badminton in 1990 – the first of his three runner-up placings at the event, which he never won (he was also second in 1993 on Ricochet and 1994 on Delta III).
Blyth and Messiah won team and individual gold at the 1990 World Championships in Stockholm. Having moved to Britain in 1989 to prepare for the championships, this success persuaded Blyth to make the move permanent and make a career out of eventing. Messiah went on to win individual bronze and team silver at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Four years later, Blyth won individual gold at the Olympics in Atlanta on Ready Teddy. He also took team bronze that year with Chesterfield (at that time the Olympic team and individual competitions were run as separate events). Ready Teddy also won individual and team golds at the 1998 World Championships.
After a successful eventing career in Britain, including two Burghley wins (2001 on Ready Teddy and 1998 on Chesterfield), Blyth retired after the Athens Olympics in 2004 and returned to New Zealand to train racehorses after living in the UK for 15 years while eventing. Despite the move Blyth remained involved with the sport, conducting coaching clinics and also filling the role of team manager for the New Zealand eventing team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and in the 2008 Olympics.
In early 2011, Blyth was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to compete in the 2012 London Olympics and moved back to Britain with a four-star horse called Santos.
Blyth Tait was born in 1961 on the Northern Island of New Zealand. His father bred racehorses.
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