Mark Todd at Badminton

The Badminton Horse Trials have always been the most exciting event in the world as far as I’m concerned. Back in 1980 I was a twelve year old kid at the Ngaruawahia Pony Club when Mark Todd won it for the first time. I remember hearing the news and thinking that it simply wasn’t possible – Badminton was such a major, major event with riders like Lucinda Prior-Palmer and the very best eventers in the world. It was the most incredible victory for Todd. He had never even ridden at Badminton before and he was completely untested around a course of four-star calibre. His dramatic, unexpected win marked the start of a decade and a half of dominance by the New Zealanders in the sport of eventing.

Todd won every major event after that plus two gold medals at the Olympics on Charisma. By the time he retired in 2000 he had already been named the Event Rider of the Century. Now, after a decade out of the limelight he’s made the most astonishing comeback at the age of 55 to win Badminton for an amazing fourth time – on a young, green horse NZB Land Vision – and he’s proven that he’s the Event Rider of the Next Century too! I watched him in the showjumping and screamed when he flew clear over the last fence and promptly burst into tears. He is such an inspiration! A complete superhero.

Real-life and fiction often seem to go hand in hand – my last book in the Pony Club Secrets series, Nightstorm and the Grand Slam, is also set at the Badminton Horse Trials with a New Zealand rider bound for glory.

I put the finishing touches on the final draft of Nightstorm and the Grand Slam last night and it is probably off to the printers by now – due for release in the UK in May and here in New Zealand in July. I can’t wait to see it in print as I loved writing this book and it is the perfect end to the series. Meanwhile, I have to start the next book in the Pony Club Rivals series. I am already behind on my deadline! Typical!

4 Responses so far

  1. 1

    Pattie said,

    I, too, am a great fan of Mark Todd’s. It’s hard to believe that my now 11 year old daughter can have the same eventing hero as her mother, with his career spanning such a long period. I’d love to surprise her with a DVD of his most recent success. Do you know how I could acquire a copy of the most recent Badminton event including Mark Todd’s historic win at 55 years of age ! It’s her birthday next week, and I’d liove to give it to her for her and her fellow horsey friends to nejoy at her birthday / sleepover.

  2. 3

    Meghana said,

    Do you know how I could get hold of Mark todd? I need to ask him questions for my school project .Im Primary school. Even his phone number will do. I need to answer some questions like how did uou get interested in chosen sport?

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