28 Jun 2016

Sir Mark Todd to compete in eighth Olympics

6:51 am on 28 June 2016

Equestrian great Sir Mark Todd will become the most capped New Zealand Olympian when he competes at the Rio Games in August.

Sir Mark Todd

Sir Mark Todd Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The two time Olympic gold medallist will compete in his eighth Olympics as part of a five-strong New Zealand squad selected for Rio.

He is joined by his bronze medal-winning Olympic team-mates from London four years ago, Jonelle Price and Jock Paget. The fourth member of the eventing team is Clarke Johnstone.

First time Olympian Julie Brougham will compete in the dressage competition.

The 60-year-old competed at his first Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984 and won gold in the individual three day event riding Charisma, with the duo repeating the effort in Seoul four years later. Since then, the only Olympics he has missed is Athens in 2004.

Todd's bronze medal in London four years ago equalled the Olympic record for the longest gap between first and last Olympic medals, of 28 years.

Todd will also become the oldest New Zealand athlete to compete at an Olympics when he rides in Rio.

Todd was thrilled to be selected and is focused on delivering another strong Olympic challenge for New Zealand.

"I am very happy with my horses at the moment and the strong team that has been named.

"I am looking forward to the competition," he said.

2016 Rio Olympic Games New Zealand Equestrian Team, Julie Brougham, Jonathan Paget, Sir Mark Todd, Clarke Johnstone, Jonelle Price.

2016 Rio Olympic Games New Zealand Equestrian Team, Julie Brougham, Jonathan Paget, Sir Mark Todd, Clarke Johnstone, Jonelle Price. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Johnstone, who was forced to bow out of contention leading in to the London Games after his horse was injured, is also over the moon with news of his selection.

"To go to Rio and try to win a medal for New Zealand has been my number one focus for the last four years, so to be one step closer again is really, really exciting. I can't wait," he said.

Julie Brougham from Palmerston North will compete in the dressage for New Zealand and is just the third Kiwi to do so.

Ahead of her have been Kallista Field at Sydney (2000) and Louisa Hill at Athens (2004) and London (2012).

Brougham departed for Europe in March to focus on her Olympic build-up and is excited to be joining the team for Rio.

"I am very much looking forward to being part of the New Zealand team at Rio," she said.

"Now we can focus 100% on the preparation and training for the games."

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