Kiwi eventing team gear up for Olympics
Wed, 04 Jul 2012 6:30p.m.
By Michelle Pickles
When Mark Todd made his comeback for the Beijing Olympics four years ago. He figured one more time around, and then he'd retire for good.
Four years later, and he's thrilled to be named in the team to compete in London.
“It just goes to show that things change and I didn't realise that I would enjoy being back in the sport so much and feel as competitive again,” he says.
Todd is one of New Zealand's most successful Olympians with four medals - two of them gold.
But he had a minor setback ahead of these games when his top mount Land Vision was ruled out with injury.
He'll now ride Campino at the Greenwich venue.
“In the back of my mind I always thought this would be the horse I’d end up taking to London. Last year we had to fast track him get some mileage into him so that if I did need him for London he'd be ready and he's just kept stepping up,” says Todd.
He believes New Zealand has a good chance in London, as does fellow team-mate Caroline Powell.
Powell won Burleigh on her mount Lenamore two years ago, and she was New Zealand's best performer in Beijing – finishing 14th.
“We're all pretty good at kicking each other up the arse and praising one another when things go well. We've got a good depth of knowledge,” says Powell.
“I think if everything knits together and lady luck's on our side then we should have a really good shot.”
Their aim will be to add to the nine Olympic equestrian medals New Zealand has won since Todd's first gold in 1984.
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