There's no Olympic gold without hardworking officials.
Mark Todd may have claimed gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, but behind the scenes were three hard-working officials with Taupō connections.
Peter (Pete) Herrick was team manager, Dr Wallie Niederer was vet, and Barbara Thomson, who died in 2017, was the official equestrian photographer.
The beginning of the Olympic dream was six years earlier, in the lead-up to the 1978 World Three Day Event Championships at Lexington, Kentucky. Pete had been shortlisted for the New Zealand team, but a bad accident at the final trial saw him renew his focus to administration and he was selected as team manager for riders, including Mark Todd and Mary Darby.
"We finished sixth," Pete says. "It was the first time a New Zealand team had been out of the country.
"After Kentucky, the riders sold their horses. They were all in debt, we had all paid our own way. And in those days a New Zealand-bound horse had to quarantine in England for six months."
Pete went back to New Zealand, took up course designing and became a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) judge. The beginning of a lifelong involvement with equestrian events at a local and national level.
"Mark Todd worked in England for six months then bought two horses. With one horse he won Badminton, with the other he won Punchestown. It set him up, he sold them and went on to ride Charisma."
Also based in England, and selected alongside Todd to ride for the 1984 New Zealand Olympic team were Andrew Nicholson and Mary Darby. Andrew Bennie was the fourth team member and he flew with Pete, and 'half a 747 planeload' of New Zealand athletes into Los Angeles.
Pete says he was selected for the role as equestrian team manager as he had the Kentucky experience, knew the rules through being a judge, knew the technicalities from course designing and riding, and also knew the competitors.
The job was about coordinating everything, making sure the riders had what they needed, keeping up morale, and making sure the riders wore their smartest uniform at opportune times, not an easy task in the heat.
"I said to them, we need to build adrenaline, don't worry about sleep, there will be time to relax after.
"Alcohol played a role, after all Montana Wines was the team sponsor.
"After Mark Todd won gold, we partied so hard. Other Olympic officials came to see us and we told them 'don't worry the athlete [horse] is tucked up in his stable'."
Sometimes things unexpectedly went wrong. On arrival at Los Angeles International Airport the Customs officer was intent on unpacking all of Dr Wallie Niederer's veterinary supplies. This was the team's first introduction to the extraordinarily tight security surrounding the athletes at the Olympics.
"A box the size of a coffin was packed full. When [the official] began, I said to him, 'if you unpack this box then you have to repack it' and he waved us through."
The hosts had organised for all the horses to be transported together, 100km to the cross-country course. Pete objected, on the grounds the New Zealand horses didn't have immunity to the many diseases that northern hemisphere horses are inoculated against and said they needed to travel separately.
"It was like arguing with this mini-god. In the end they understood our point."
The New Zealand horses were eventually loaded into 12 trucks, with a 12-car police escort. Pete sat up the front with the driver, "who was chuffed because it's illegal to drive in a convoy on the freeway".
Pete said the security was overwhelming, with three or four metal detectors between the athletes' accommodation and the dining hall.
"They were all different. A person would set one off, but not others."
Pete recalls the host country being terrified about threats from their own citizens. On one occasion Kiwi athletes were seconds away from being run over by a vehicle aiming for pedestrians on the footpath. Another time they narrowly missed being in a restaurant that was held up by an armed robber.
"There were helicopter gunships circling overhead at all the venues, at all times. The police were visibly armed, there were sniffer dogs, guards on top of every building."
Thanks to Pete insisting on the wearing of their number ones, the New Zealand team received congratulations from Prince Philip for being the best turned-out team after the first horse inspection at Santa Anita Park.
"Normally it's the Brits who win the turnout. But the heat was unbearable and no one wanted to get into their best gear."
After the 1984 Olympics, Pete made himself unavailable for international equestrian events until 1998 when he agreed to the role of Chef d'Equipe at the Endurance World Championships in Dubai where the New Zealand team won gold. He says you only get one chance to do things with your children and if you don't do it, then you miss out.
"When I was away for the Olympics the kids were thrilled when I turned up on telly. But then it was school holidays and they said 'where's Dad? He's taking us skiing."
He says his Olympic experience was fabulous, but incredibly hard work.