Double Olympic gold medalist Mark Todd is to ride Kate Wood’s horse Drakkar in the two-star eventing competition at New Zealand’s Horse of the Year show this weekend.
“It’s going to be fun – I am looking forward to it,” said Todd, who arrived at the show on Wednesday afternoon, in time to lead the New Zealand team in the Country TV Tri Nations clash against Australia and China.
Show director Kevin Hansen was pleased to make the accoucement today. “We have built the course, got the perfect location, a great show and thousands of people … to have a superstar like Mark Todd riding is a real thrill,” he said.
Drakkar is an eight year old former race horse who is in his first year of two-star eventing. He has been with Kate Wood since he was four. The former New Zealand representative from Whangarei would normally be competing herself at HoY, but her brother is getting married on Saturday, so it’s out of the question this year.
“You wouldn’t lend your horse to just anyone but I am reasonably comfortable with that jockey,” she said.
Unfortunately Wood won’t even be able to watch the live streaming of Saturday’s cross country.
“The wedding is at 3pm and I am the MC so I would probably be missed if I ducked out to watch it!”
But she will make a flying visit to the bay to see Todd and Drakkar do their dressage test.
Saturday is People’s Day at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds and organisers are hoping for thousands to bring their families and enjoy the action of an Olympic Games style cross-country.