27 Apr 2011

Todd wins Badminton for fourth time

9:30 am on 27 April 2011

Mark Todd has won the Badminton horse trials in Britain for the fourth time, riding NZB Land Vision.

Todd, 55, returned to competition after eight years out of eventing to become Badminton's oldest champion, 31 years after his first title there. His other victories there were in 1980, 1994 and 1996.

He is preparing to compete in the London Olympics next year, chasing his third Olympic gold medal.

Todd won individual Olympic eventing golds at Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988, and also a bronze at Sydney 2000.

Todd, who led the event overnight after the cross-country stage, was the last to compete inside the jumping arena and had to produce a clear round to win.

He did so, narrowly going under the time barrier beyond which penalty points would be incurred, to score 43.6 and beat Britain's Piggy French and Jakata.

British veteran Mary King, who won Badminton in 1992 and 2000, was third on Imperial Cavalier.

New Zealanders Caroline Powell on Lenamore and Andrew Nicholson on Avebury were placed sixth and 10th respectively.

Todd says becoming Badminton's oldest champion is one of the most satisfying moments of his career. With Land Vision only 10 years old, he says, there's no limit to his potential.

Todd's Olympic equestrian teammate from the 1988 Seoul Games, Tinks Pottinger, told Checkpoint it was one of the exciting finishes Badminton has seen in a long time.

She says Todd was voted rider of the century in 2000 across the equestrian disciplines and his status was proven when his final clear round in the show-jumping stage brought a standing ovation from the crowd.