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Man on a Mission
Just one week in at Mark Todd’s new base at Badgerstown in Wiltshire and things are progressing at Toddy’s usual breakneck speed. Whilst the man himself admits to being “a little bit OCD”, it is fairer to say that he is actually one of the few men in the world with the ability to multi task.
Just a few days after the glory of a medal in London he was out in pouring rain on his new farm pulling ragwort and musing over the enormity of the task that lay ahead of him. Badgerstown began the inexorable slide into decline quite a few years ago but as everyone knows, when Mark Todd takes the reins, magic starts to happen.
Barely a week ago Mark was simultaneously organizing the move of his team of horses and his entire home contents. Then, with his team of helpers frantically unpacking he was found doing a spot of gardening in the form of some severe pruning in order to access doors and windows of his new house!
Bob the Builder
Well, not Bob as such but a team of painters, builders, helpers and son James along with his hardworking friends. They’re all busy transforming the yards, flats, annexes and lofts at Badgerstown, seemingly all at once and unearthing literally skip fulls of rubbish and debris.
Head girl Charlie Gardiner is as organized as ever despite the chaos and must be thanking her lucky stars that she has purchased a house that is not too far away to go home to at night! One of Mark’s other staff Faye is awaiting the completion of her flat on the yard, whilst the annex is being gutted and redecorated in readiness for the arrival of fellow Kiwi Clarke Johnstone.
All of this development costs money so sadly NZB Grass Valley, Regent Lad and Olympic medalist NZB Campino have all been placed on the market to help pay the bills.
Tom McEwen is to remain at the base with his string of horses meaning Badgerstown will be a busy mix of International horses and riders eventing at the top level.
Man with a Vision – Come to Badgerstown!
The cross-country schooling course and gallops are open for outside business and Mark has plans for improving those as well. Over the winter there will be more schooling fences built to give a wider range for clients.
The water complex is excellent and does not need any work but there will be more portables built that will be moved around so that the course will be dynamic and ever changing.
Mark will be holding cross-country clinics whenever he gets a gap in his hectic schedule.
If Ian Stark was known as the flying Scot then Mark should be renamed the flying Kiwi. Olympic Games, moving, competing in the CIC*** at Hartpury on two horses and now touching down in New Zealand with the rest of the NZ eventing team. They’re partaking in a four-day whistle-stop tour of non-stop media engagements and meet and greets in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
The official medal parade will be held in the South Island city of Christchurch, which has endured such hardship from the earthquakes over the past two years. This parade should come as a welcome boost to the hardy locals.
Mark believes that this trip home is vital for several reasons despite it’s timing being bang in the middle of the UK season. On a personal level Mark is looking forward to seeing parents Norman and Lenore Todd and also daughter Lauren. Then he also feels it’s important as a show of gratitude to the home crowd for the incredible support the Kiwis have received throughout their Olympic campaign. Finally it’s a thank you for the public funding the team has received through High Performance Sport NZ without which, the whole thing really might never have happened..
And To Top Things Off
If all this wasn’t enough, Mark is just about launch a groundbreaking new super-premium equine feed range with Keyflow® – for a sneak preview at one of the feeds have a look at Mark Todd Stay Cool – and if you like the look of the feed and would like to try some as soon as it’s available – then go ahead and request a stockist.
You can follow Jacky Green on twitter @jacks_green or subscribe to her blog posts through ‘The flow’ by entering your email into the box in the right hand column of this page.