Mark Todd’s Christmas Day: ‘we fill ourselves up with food and feel sick for the rest of the day!’

  • Binge-watching horsey DVDs, hunting and overindulging on Christmas dinner – top riders are no different to the rest of us. Here, Mark Todd shares the details of what he usually gets up to on Christmas Day

    “We’re staying at home and the staff who are staying on will probably join us. We’d normally see friends but I don’t think that’ll happen this year; it’ll be a low-key one.

    “We try to make doing the yard as easy as possible and not to ride on Christmas Day, though it will depend whether we have any horses running around that time. I like to get the whole family to help on Christmas Day – I’ll be mucking out – then we fill ourselves up with food and feel sick for the rest of the day.

    “My favourite Christmases were the ones where we went back home to New Zealand and had the whole extended family together, with my brother and sister and their families. My parents are both gone now, so we won’t have that again in the same way. Christmas is always more fun with little kids around – that’s what makes it special – otherwise it’s just an excuse to eat a lot of food and drink too much!

    “Christmas in New Zealand is in the middle of summer, but we always had turkey, Christmas pudding and the whole nine yards, which is a bit ridiculous when it’s hot. None of us are that keen on turkey, but it’s a tradition – I’m not sure if we’ll do something different this year but I’ll leave that to my wife Carolyn. She’s already making the Christmas pudding.”

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    “The horse I’m most excited about for 2021 is a two-year-old called Tasman Bay, by Le Havre out of a Galileo mare. He’s run once and finished sixth on a very heavy track at Newbury. He won’t run again until the spring as he’s a big, backwards horse, but I think he could be quite smart.

    “We also have a little filly called Rose Fandango, by Exceed And Excel, who ran third on her second start and could be worth watching.”

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