Double Olympic gold medallist Mark Todd is heading to the UK this weekend in a late bid for 2008 Olympic Games selection. He is due to arrive on British shores on Sunday 20 April.
After successfully completing the first leg of the Olympic qualifying criteria at the Puhinui three-day event in March, he now needs to complete another three star competition within the set guidelines to be considered.
Mark’s hopes are currently pinned on the Saumur three-day event in France on 15-18 May, where he will be riding Gandalf, the 10-year-old grey gelding he bought in January.
Failing that Mark and Gandalf have one other chance to be selected — at Bramham in June.
Mark said: “I am very comfortable and happy with Gandalf. We’ll do another couple of competitions in the UK and again, I won’t have a lot of time before Saumur and hopefully if that all goes well, then we’ll just concentrate on the build-up towards Beijing.”
Eight New Zealand riders are competing for five spots at the Olympics. The successful team will be named in late June after they have all competed in a series of events in the UK.
Mark added: “I don’t really know how I rate in form against some of the others, but obviously when I go to Saumur I will need to put up a good performance to catch the selectors’ eye.”
It would be a record sixth Olympic Games for Mark, 52, who won gold medals in 1984 and 1988.
View pictures of Mark Todd’s career from the Horse & Hound archives