Sir Mark Todd followed fairly swiftly in NZB Campino's footsteps and decided to call time on his illustrious eventing careeer when he was part of the NZ winning Nations Cup Team... and what better way for such a legend of th sport to go than to bow out at the top, where he has been for so many decades.
It's not over, rather a new beginning as Mark starts his first season as a racehorse trainer in the UK. In Mark's own words:
Well the time has finally come to call it a day on my Eventing career. This has not been an easy decision and it basically came down to when and not if I would finish. Carolyn and I discussed it at length, with thoughts of do I stay for another go at Olympics or call it a day at the end of the year. But having made the decision on the end of the year, I then started to feel pressure at each event so decided to bring it forward to this weekend. Having been persuaded back into training racehorses earlier this year I also found I wanted to spend more time on that and was not as focussed on the Eventing. I could foresee keeping both lots of owners happy was going to be increasingly difficult and I did not have the same enthusiasm to go Eventing.
I have been privileged to have had the most amazing owners who have been totally supportive of this decision. Brilliant sponsors and of course an amazing staff (Jess Wilson and Brea Walker with the eventers and latterly with the racehorses Hadden and Caitlyn) and the team of vets physios and farrier who keep the horses happy and healthy, without this team behind me it would not of been possible.
It has also been fantastic to be part of Equestrian team NZ, and to win this weekend in the Nations cup with longtime friends and team mates Tim and Jonelle made it all the more special.
This is not a retirement but a change of direction, one in which Carolyn can feel more relaxed and I can follow a long held passion.
There are way too many people to thank for this journey so far, and it has been an absolute honour to have been able to represent NZ on the world stage for so long and to feel the love and support back.
I will still be involved in Team NZ in some way so it’s not a total farewell and I’m sure I will he involved in teaching time permitting.
Thank you all for being a part of this and hope the next chapter has half as much fun and excitement. Mark