Mark Todd heads the list for New Zealand’s Rio eventing team and will make history as his country’s most senior Olympian.
Rio will be the eighth Olympics for the eventing legend, who has two horses on the list — his London 2012 team bronze medal-winning ride NZB Campino and Leonidas II.
“I am very excited about it,” he told H&H. “I think we have a pretty good team — there are no real weak links. We are a pretty even, strong team and that is going to be our strength.”
He added he will ride Leonidas II at Barbury (9-10 July) and NZB Campino is entered for Aachen (15-16 July), after which the decision will be made about which horse he will take.
The 60-year-old is also set to break his country’s record for its most senior Olympian.
“I don’t think about it really — I don’t feel my age, what are you meant to feel like at my age?” he said.
New Zealand’s individual dressage place at this summer’s Games goes to Julie Brougham on Vom Feinstein.
“It has been an incredibly difficult process for selectors for both dressage and eventing,” said Equestrian Sports New Zealand high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout.
“But when selection is difficult, it’s a positive sign for New Zealand’s equestrian sport for the future.
“There were a lot of solid performances at the highest level from our eventers over the past 18 months, with the majority of riders having successful performances on multiple horses.
“For dressage, it has been an exciting time as new levels have been reached by our two high performance combinations (Ms Brougham and John Thompson).
“With such a hard-fought contest for this single place, it was disappointing to not be able to have selected them both.”
Jonelle and Jock were both on the London 2012 team and Clarke won team bronze at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
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“To have athletes selected who can draw on multiple Olympic medal-winning experiences from previous campaigns is a powerful thing,” added New Zealand Olympic committee CEO Kereyn Smith.
“I would like to congratulate Sir Mark Todd on continuing to raise the bar ahead of his eighth Olympic Games appearance and wish every one of the athletes selected today all the very best in Rio.”
The team riders and their horses are as follows:
- Mark Todd (NZB Campino or Leonidas II)
- Jonelle Price (Faerie Dianimo or Classic Moet)
- Jock Paget (Clifton Lush)
- Clarke Johnstone (Balmoral Sensation)
- Tim Price (Bango or Ringwood Sky Boy)