Back in 1988, Mark Todd featured in Sports Illustrated after winning his gold medal on Charisma at the Seoul Olympics.
At that time it was the horse’s age – not Todd’s – that drew comment.
Charisma was as old as any horse at Seoul, and surely the smallest. At the team awards ceremony, he really did look like a pony standing beside 11 real horses, and the scene was all the more bizarre when the riders dismounted and the tiny horse’s man stood head and shoulders above the other 11 riders.
But the star of the item was Todd, then aged 32, who was raised on a farm and had been riding since he was seven.
He has wavy brown hair that shines copper in the sun when he doffs his helmet.
He smokes Silk Cut cigarettes, and so there is a timeless quality to him as he stands there in his classic riding costume, razor thin, handsome and elegant—the way all people in cigarette advertisements, going to the hounds, used to look
That’s Alf’s memory of him in those days, too.