Thieves target Mark Todd’s event yard

  • New Zealand event rider Sir Mark Todd has been coping with the aftermath of a burglary during his final preparations for this week’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials (7-10 May).

    The break-in was at Mark’s Badgerstown yard (pictured), on the edge of the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire, which is the base of several event riders. It happened on Sunday night (3 May) and thieves went through tack rooms and lorries.

    “It’s the third or fourth time it’s happened,” said Mark. “They took Adequan [a joint treatment product], bute, penicillin and mine, Tom McEwen’s and Ludwig Svennerstal’s magnetic rugs.

    “They also took some random things, such as bits which were hanging on the wall and six new lead ropes.”

    No tack was stolen, nor anything else which was crucial to Mark’s Badminton effort.

    “It’s not nice knowing people have been crawling round the place in the middle of the night,” said Mark. “We used to have a pitbull, but nothing stops them.”

    Following his return to eventing in 2008, Mark bought Badgerstown in 2012 and moved in immediately after winning team bronze at the 2012 Olympics. The property was originally created by the National Hunt jockey and trainer Stan Mellor and bought in 2002 by the Colthurst family, who turned it into an equestrian centre.

    H&H columnist Mark is competing two horses at Badminton this year. His first, Leonidas II, performed his dressage this morning, scoring a creditable 45.8 for third place after the first morning of tests.

    Mark will also ride Oloa as the very last horse into the arena tomorrow, at 4.52pm.

    The double Olympic individual gold medallist has won Badminton four times, three before his retirement from eventing and again in 2011 on NZB Land Vision following his comeback.

    Follow Badminton dressage with our live written commentary

    Full report from Badminton in next week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday, 14 May.

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