Sir Mark Todd has shot up the leaderboard from 11th to second after the final round of dressage at the Badminton Horse Trials in England on Saturday morning (NZ time).

The veteran horseman riding Kiltubrid Rhapsody climbed up the ladder in dramatic form following a score of 23.4 to sit behind the leader, Britain's Oliver Townend.

Todd was in the lead for a short time, but Townend recorded the highest score at Badminton in 18 years to knock the Kiwi down a peg.

The New Zealander was full of praise for his horse after the strong outing.

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"He's got a brilliant temperament," Todd told a press conference at Badminton.

"I wasn't particularly worried about him going in there with the crowds nothing seems to bother him.

"He's a big moving horse, quite striking and he's very nice to train and I felt probably in the last month to six weeks he's really coming into his own."

Tim Price is the second-placed Kiwi rider in 14th while defending Badminton champion Andrew Nicholson is in 18th.

Todd, a four-time Badminton winner and double Olympic champion, and the other competitors will turn their focus to the cross-country which gets underway tonight (NZ time).

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