Sir Mark Todd has paid tribute to NZB Land Vision, the 2011 Badminton winner who was put down on Saturday (17 March) at the age of 17 when he suffered complications after colic surgery.
“He was definitely he best horse I’d had since Charisma,” Mark told H&H. “He could do everything — he was great on the flat, a fabulous jumper, very good cross-country. He had everything going for him. Before I got him, obviously he was successful with Oliver Townend and Daniel Henson, with whom he also won quite a bit in pure dressage.”
Mark explained that the only thing “Ben” lacked was a physical toughness, which meant his career was cut short.
“After Badminton he sadly only did a handful of events. He had reoccurring tendon problems and various issues. He was one of those horses without a very sound constitution. Sometimes you get these horses with amazing ability, but their body just can’t cope with it. That’s the thing with event horses — it’s all very well having the ability, but they have to be able to withstand the work too.”
Speaking of NZB Land Vision’s Badminton win, which came three years after Mark’s comeback to eventing, the rider said: “Badminton was pretty remarkable on all fronts. When I came back to eventing, I hoped to prove I could get back to that level and he was horse that did that for me. To win another Badminton amazing and he was a relatively inexperienced horse at the time. It was his first four-star and he’d only done one CCI3* as a nine-year-old.”
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In his later years, NZB Land Vision was a favourite on the Todd yard even though he was no longer seriously competing.
“I did a couple of indoor events with him after he finished eventing and [my wife] Carolyn played around here with him,” said Mark. “He loved being worked and various people had plays on him. He could go out and do two-time changes and all the party tricks.
“He was a lovely horse to have around, a real gentleman who was just brilliant to do anything with. He could be quite sharp out hacking and a bit spooky, but there wasn’t a nasty bone in his body. He was great to travel to events, never got worried or panicked, always ate and did everything. He was an easy horse in that respect.”
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