The UK based seven-time Olympian and New Zealand equestrian legend Sir Mark Todd (60), is based in Wiltshire outside Swindon. Last year he with Leonidas he completed Badminton in 4th place and the pair was 6th at Burghley. In 2014 they were members of the NZ team for the WEG (eliminated). With Badminton entry NZB Campino he was a member of the team for the London Olympic Games – winning team bronze – and last year the pair was 5th at Luhmuhlen. He is currently sixth in the FEI World rider ranking.
One of New Zealand’s most celebrated sports men and voted rider of the 20th century by the FEI, in 2013 he was made a Knights Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the sport of eventing.
‘Toddy’ first competed internationally as a member of the first ever NZ team that contested the World Championships at Lexington in 1978. Soon after he moved to England and won his first Badminton with Southern Comfort (1980). He is particularly remembered for his partnership with the diminutive Charisma with who he won two Olympic gold medals (’84 & 88). In the 1992 Olympic Games, Mark competed in show jumping as well as eventing. He has also won Burghley five times.
He ‘retired’ in 2000 after winning bronze at the Sydney Olympics. He then made a return to the sport in 2008 aged 52 and three-years later won his fourth Badminton title – the oldest rider ever to win – on his 20th completion.
During retirement in New Zealand he turned to training and breeding racehorses and successes include Bramble Rose who won the 2003 New Zealand Oaks and Willy Smith the winner of the Wellington Cup in 2007. After his return to eventing he was selected for the 2008 Olympic Games and in 2010 with Grass Valley was a member of the NZ bronze medal team at the WEG in Lexington and in London 2012 – his seventh Olympic Games – he was a member of the Bronze medal winning New Zealand team with NZB Campino.
Mark trains with British dressage Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin and Luis Ceveza. He is the official technical advisor to the Brazilian Eventing team.
In 2015 Mark remarried his former wife Carolyn Berry and the couple has two children Lauren (27) and James (23) who in 2014 started BE eventing. Outside of horses Mark enjoys horse racing, skiing (water and snow) and yoga.
Leonidas II is an 12-year-old German-bred Holsteiner gelding. He was bred by Gabrielle Pochhammer, the former chief editor of the national German equestrian magazine St Georg. He is by Landos (also sire of the Olympic team silver showjumper Magic Bengtsson) out of mare by the Thoroughbred Parco. Leo was acquired by Mark from Germany in 2010. He is decribed as the softest horse in the stable and the easiest to manage and a horse with a huge heart. His owners who also owned Major Milestone.
16.2hh, bay, gelding
Dam Nairobi III (Parco)
Breeder Gabriele Pochhammer
Di Brunsden & Peter Cattell, Ongar, Essex.