Mark Todd, eventing legend

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    Revered by many as the best event rider ever during his spell at the top during the 1980s and 1990s, New Zealand’s Mark Todd is the only person to win back-to-back individual Olympic titles since World War II, triumphing in 1984 and 1988 on Charisma.

    He also won three Badmintons during his first eventing career (1980 on Southern Comfort, 1994 on catch ride Horton Point and 1996 on Bertie Blunt), and shares the record for five Badminton wins with Ginny Elliot and William Fox-Pitt. Mark’s were in 1987 on Wilton Fair, 1990 on Face The Music, 1991 on Welton Greylag, 1997 on Broadcast News (also open European Championship) and 1999 on Diamond Hall Red.

    He also shares the record for four British open titles with William and Mary King, while as well as his two individual Olympic golds his medal haul includes team bronze at the 1988 Olympics, team gold at the 1990 World Equestrian Games, individual silver and team gold at the 1998 World Equestrian Games and individual bronze at the 2000 Olympics.

    Mark retired from eventing after the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and moved back to his native New Zealand to train racehorses. In January 2008 he started a whirlwind comeback, successfully qualifying for the Hong Kong Olympics, where he finished 18th.

    In the autumn of 2008 he announced his intention to continue eventing and base himself in Britain for the 2009 season. In 2010, he was in the bronze medal-winning New Zealand team at the World Equestrian Games. Then in 2011, he proved he had returned to the very top of his game by winning his fourth Badminton Horse Trials title.

    Mark was born in 1956 in Cambridge in New Zealand’s north island. He has two children, Lauren (born 1988) and James (born 1993).

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