SWINDON-BASED eventing legend Sir Mark Todd felt there was no better place to break his Event Rider Masters podium duck than at the Barbury Horse Trials at the weekend.

The New Zealander, whose Badgerstown stables are located just outside Wanborough, previously only had a best finish of 25th in the new CIC*** series that was introduced last year, with that result coming at Chatsworth House in May.

However, two-time Olympic individual eventing champion Todd roared back to his best form at Barbury to finish third on board Leonidas II.

The 61-year-old was only beaten by French winner Thomas Carlile on Upsilon and compatriot Andrew Nicholson, who is also based near Marlborough, on Nereo in runners-up spot.

“I am delighted. I have been trying for 18 months to sit on this podium and I have finally made it. It is not quite the top spot but we can’t be too choosy,” said Todd, who was only 26th last year.

“It has all gone really well. I had a really good ride in the cross-country. Last year here, the demons were with me and I had a terrible round of show jumping and a terrible round of cross-country but everything has gone well this time.

“I am slightly kicking myself I didn’t quite make the time in the cross-county but I am pleased to be sat on the podium.

“This is one of the best venues anywhere in the world.

“There is great viewing, the spectators can see everywhere, the undulations make the course interesting, the ground, although it’s firm this year, at least it is a flat level surface.”

Tim Price made it three Wiltshire-based Kiwis in the top six of the ERM class on board Cekatinka.

Lambourn rider Laura Collett and Grand Manoeuvre finished ninth, with American Hannah Sue Burnett, who is based at Maizey Manor Farm at Ogbourne St Andrew, 10th on RF Demeter. Burnett’s Maizey Manor colleague, Australia’s Catherine Burrell and Duke, came 19th.