New Zealand’s Mark Todd is a living legend. With five Olympic medals to his name already, he’s going to be making his eighth Summer Games appearance this year in Rio, riding either NZB Campino or Leonidas II.
It would take some time to name all of the numerous achievements “Toddy” has earned over the course of his 30+ years career at the top levels of the sport. He has won Badminton thrice, Burghley five times, ridden on numerous teams for his country and was named the FEI Event Rider of the 20th Century in 2000. And yet he may always be best known for the remarkable back-to-back Olympic gold medals he won with the mighty Charisma in 1984 and 1988.
In this touching video from the FEI and IMG Media, Mark says Charisma was a special partner for him and discusses the importance of developing a good partnership with your horse that builds trust, empathy and a bond that is key to being successful.
“You can’t just be successful on ability alone. You have to have a relationship … You need to have a horse not only with ability, but a horse that wants to try and try with you to be very successful,” Mark says. “To be able to have a partnership with a horse where you are able to bring out the absolute best in that horse and when it gets to a level where both are near perfect, it’s something pretty amazing.”