24 Jul 2012

EQUESTRIAN

1:04 pm on 24 July 2012

New Zealand has a proud Olympic record in equestrian events.

Eventer Mark Todd won New Zealand's first Olympic medal with a gold at the Los Angeles Games in 1984. New Zealand has since picked up nine medals - three gold, two silver and four bronze - in eventing, the most recent being an individual bronze to Todd at the Sydney Games in 2000.

EVENTING

Eventing consists of showjumping, cross-country and dressage disciplines.

Mark Todd will again compete in the individual and team eventing and, along with eventer Andrew Nicholson, becomes the first New Zealand athletes to compete in seven Olympic Games.

Though Todd is currently ranked 30th in the world, his experience will be a big advantage to the three-day eventing team in London.

The 56-year-old has been voted rider of the 20th century by the International Equestrian Federation and has won at Badminton four times and Burghley five times.

Nicholson has never won an individual Olympic medal, but was part of New Zealand teams to win silver at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and bronze in Atlanta in 1996. The 51-year-old is in great form and is the country's best chance at winning an individual eventing medal at the London Games.

He is currently second in the world eventing rankings and became the first New Zealander to win the Barbury Castle International Horse Trials in July this year.

The eventing team are strong contenders for a team medal.

New Olympian Jock Paget is currently ranked sixth in the world, Caroline Powell is participating in her second Olympics and won the 2010 Burghley International Horse Trial, while Jonelle Richards will compete at her first Olympics after being a non-travelling reserve at the Athens Games in 2004.

DRESSAGE

Louisa Hill, who represented New Zealand in Athens, will be attending her second Games in the individual dressage event.

While she is unlikely to win a medal, she has had great success for New Zealand in Australia and over the years has won every New Zealand dressage title and championship.

Team

Andrew Nicholson, Jock Paget, Caroline Powell, Jonelle Richards, Mark Todd (three-day event).

Louisa Hill (dressage).

Some information sourced from www.olympic.org.nz

Where and when

Eventing: Events at Greenwich Park from 28 July to 31 July.

Dressage: Events at Greenwich Park from 2 August to 9 August.