Mark Todd’s top horse – NZB Land Vision – is out of the Olympics after the recurrence of an old tendon injury.
The horse, which won last year’s Badminton Horse Trials will be off training and competition for at least three months.
In a comment to Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ), Mark said: “He proved himself at Badminton last year as one of the best four-star horses in the world and I thought if I got him to the Olympics fit and sound he would have had a good chance at winning a medal.
“It is very disappointing for me, my sponsors New Zealand Bloodstock and the New Zealand team.”
ESNZ said the long term prognosis for Land Vision, a former ride of Oliver Townend is good given his relatively youthful age of 11.
They said Todd remains available for selection for a record seventh Olympic Games with other horses in his stable, including the 10-year-old NZB Campino.
“All is far from lost,” he said. “Campino is very good in all phases too and while he is not quite as experienced as Land Vision he can also be a competitive (podium) prospect.”
Toddy also is still chasing Olympic qualification with another of his horses, NZB Grass Valley, on whom he finished 11th individual at the 2010 World Championships, and contributed to a team bronze medal.
Grass Valley will now head to the three-star event at Saumur, France (17-20 May) while Campino will compete at Chatsworth (12-13 May) this month and Major Milestone to Tattersalls in Ireland (31 May-3 June), followed by Luhmuhlen (14-17 June) in Germany – the only four-star competition before the Olympics begins on July 28.
Todd remains confident that the Kiwis have the horsepower to do well at the Olympics. “With some very experienced riders, we’ve certainly still got the basis of a very strong team for London.”
ESNZ high performance director Sarah Harris said that everyone in the team was disappointed at Land Vision’s withdrawal.
“Tendon injuries are not unusual for eventing horses and rest is the only option in this case,” she said. “Mark remains eligible for selection for London and I fully expect to see him as part of the Kiwi team in July.”