Eventing maestro Mark Todd answers your burning questions
Our recent Ask Mark Todd competition encouraged a flood of entries. The winner was Jessica Cox from Ramsgate, Kent, who wins £200-worth of Mark Todd merchandise from Jumpers Horse Line.
Jessica asked Mark Todd: “How would you advise getting a tired horse home safely, knowing there are hard fences and long gallops to come? “
Mark replied: “I was in such asituation at Badminton on Alfred The Great, who was not full Thoroughbred and who had had a short preparation for the event and was not fully fit.
Three-quarters of the way around he suddenly went flat and I wondered if I should pull up. On the galloping bits I throttled him right back to little more than a canter, but made sure I woke him up in time to jump the next fence before easing him off again.
This enabled him to catch his breath again and, after a couple of minutes, he was even able to pick up the tempo near the end of the course. At no stage had his jumping become dangerous, which is why I kept chugging on, and he finished sixth.
It is vital you recognise the signs of a really tired horse early enough so that you can slow right down before you have a disaster. If in doubt, pull up. There is always another day.”
Runners up in the competition included Phillip Cuthbert, from Newcastle upon Tyne and Carol Weal from Truro, Cornwall who bothwin a pair of Mark Todd gloves.
Click here to read Mark’s views on the importance of breeding.
Click here to read Mark’s thoughts about missed opportunities.
See this week’s Horse & Hound magazine (17 January issue) to read Mark’s answers to other reader’s questions, or click here to subscribe.