altNEW ZEALAND eventing great Mark Todd (pictured) will base himself in England from next month to begin his preparations for the London 2012 Olympics following his return to the sport.


The two-time Olympic champion will initially be based in Swindon with his friend and Belgian Olympic eventer Bruno Goyens de Heusch.


He aims to work with about eight horses, including Gandalf, through competitions in Europe.


Todd, who is godfather to one of Sebastian Coe's children, had originally planned to stay in New Zealand but has now changed his mind as he begins a campaign to add to the Olympic gold medals he won on Charisma in Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988.


He said: "For this year there is going to be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing as our children are at school in New Zealand.


"I plan to be here until June, then will go back to New Zealand for a month.


"I will return to the UK until the end of the season and be in New Zealand for Christmas."


Todd returned to competition a year ago, ending an eight-year hiatus.


He and mount Gandalf finished 18th in the Olympic individual eventing standings at Hong Kong last August and helped New Zealand to fifth in the team standings.


His ultimate goal is to compete at his seventh Games, in London in 2012, at the age of 56.


Todd said: "The Olympics was only my eighth competition in eight years, but it got me motivated to have another go."


He intends to ride Gandalf at the Badminton Horse Trials, an event he has won three times.


The World Equestrian Games in Kentucky next year are another major target.