Eventing : Mark Todd in third position after dressage and cross-country phases
Mark Todd is in third position as an individual.
The dressage test ended up with a surprise, as Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa wins the test on his french mare, Noonday de Condé. This 36 year-old rider, who trains with Dirk Schrade, said : « A few minutes before I entered the ring, my horse was afraid with the rain and thunder, but she she quickly calmed down and I could ride normally. Honestly, I could hardly believe what happened and I think I still can’t believe it. »
Italian rider Stefano Breciaroli with Apollo WD Wendi Kurt Hoev was second with 38.50 pts. Third came Mark Todd with Campino, for New-Zealand.
Frenchman Donatioen Schauly rode a pretty good test and was noted 44.40, but Nicolas Touzaint, riding his experienced 17 years old Hidalgo de l’Ile, ended up with 47.60 points. France standed ninth after the dressage phase.
Mark Todd is thirdwith 39.10. Ingrid Klimke (daughter of famous german dressage rider Reiner kike) riding Butts Abraxxas and Swedish Sara Algottsson-Ossholt with Wega share the fourth place with 39.04.
A tough cross-country phase
The afternoon was filled with thrills and excitement during the cross-country phase, a 5728 meters course with 28 fences. The slippery ground played a significant role, penalising several riders. Of 10 fallers on the track (over which 15 of the 70 starters were eliminated) two riders fell on the flat, in a difficult slope.
The Australian riders were severely hampered by elimination for both Sam Griffiths (Happy Times) who fell on the flat between fences, and Clayton Fredericks who also hit the turf after the big drop at fence 20.
Belgian riders Mark Rigouts et Joos Vanspringel got their horses unshod but could finsih the course ; the riders decided not to do the forecoming show-jumping phase.
Mark Todd is very popular in England and receives a huge ovation. The 56 year-old australian rider was not riding his best and experienced horse, NZB Land Vision, who suffers from slight injury. Mark rode a young one, NZB Campino, who is only ten years old. After a few jumps Mark could feel there was somethnig wrong, and realized his reins were not properly buckled. But he managed to struggle through the whole course and finished with only 0,4 point of penality.
« I didn’t ride a nice course », Mark said, « and some moments have been really tough, because my reins got completely separated around fence n°6. »
© Kit Houghton/FEI
In the individual standings after the dressage and cross-country phases, Ingrid Klimke for Germany and Sara Algothsson for Sweden share the first place, both having 39.40 point after dressage but beeing clear in the cross-country phase.
Mark Todd is third, with a differnece of only 0,2 point.
Mark Todd is among the most celebrated New Zealand sportsmen, with two Olympic gold medals and numerous other honours. In 2000, he has been voted the « Event Rider of the 20th Century » by the FEI.